Battling for trade supremacy
Recently, it looked as if the Chinese economy had passed yet another milestone with the revelation that the country’s combined export and import volume last year put it ahead of the United States to make it the world’s biggest trading nation.
China’s export and import volume increased 6.2 per cent year-on-year to $3.867 trillion (€2.9 trillion) in 2012, according to the data issued last month by the General Administration of Customs.
However, China’s Ministry of Commerce poured cold water on the news last week when it said the country’s total international trade was $15.64 billion (€11.72 billion) less than that of the US, using World Trade Organisation (WTO) criteria.
The US Commerce Department has released two sets of figures for its international goods trading: $3.82 trillion (€2.86 trillion), which is based on international balance of payments; and $3.882 trillion (€2.91 trillion), which is based on the measurement similar to the WTO’s measurement, according to an MOC official.
Exports surged 25 per cent from a year earlier, while imports were up 28.8 per cent, to give an unexpectedly high trade surplus of $29.2 billion (€21.77 billion).
Matter of time
The figures seem to show that China’s foreign trade with the European Union appears to be bouncing back, having been overtaken by the US last year. Trade with the EU rose 10.5 per cent year-on-year last month to stand at $47.14 billion (€35.15 billion). Trade with the US increased 23.4 per cent to $43.72 billion (€32.6 billion).
It appears to be just a matter of time before China overtakes the US as the world’s leading trading nation.