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Sub-anchor: WTO 10 years on: China's trade companies today

12-08-2011 08:47 BJT Special Report:China Releases Foreign Trade White Paper |

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For more details on how China’s foreign trade sector is faring 10 years after the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization, we are now joined by our reporter Liu Haining in the studio.

Q1: The trade company you mentioned in your story is trying to adapt to the market changes by designing new products. How is that paying off?

A1: Well, the company we followed was established at the end of the 1980s. It specializes in Chinese arts and crafts and traditional-style furniture, and its main clients are Europeans. China’s entry into the WTO gave them a big boost. Before 2001, revenue from exports reached around 10 million US dollars. Just before the financial crisis, that number had tripled to 30 million US dollars. But it has seen hard days since 2008, with export revenue down to only 5 million US dollars. So obviously, it has had to find new ways to survive. Like I mentioned in the story, they’ve designed some of their products, but another strategy was to turn to the domestic market, and today, two-thirds of their business comes from China. That’s a huge change.To Chinese clients, they sell high-end arts and crafts such as gold vessels. These are much more expensive products then those sold abroad, and their profit margin is also bigger. Now, overseas they sell low-end and low-cost items, with a smaller profit margin. So their strategy today is to balance both markets, and I think it’s a typical trend among Chinese export manufacturers.

Q2: Keeping that example in mind, but now looking at the big picture. What have been the major changes in China’s foreign trade sector over the past ten years?

A3: Well, just look at China’s total total trade volume. In 2001, China’s imports and exports brought in just over 5-hundred billion US dollars. In 2010, it was close to 3-trillion US dollars. That’s nearly six times as much, and growing over 21-percent every year. Another noticeable change is the diversity of foreign trade dealers. Since 2004, companies no longer need to get government approval to trade overseas. They only need to register with the authorities. That encouraged lots of private enterprises to look for growth outside of China. In 2001, only 6.6-percent of companies in the import and export sector were privately run. Today, that number has soared to well over 25-percent. The third point is what they are selling: before it was textile, machinery and electrical products. Today, it includes high-tech and high value-added products.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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