China set to
overtake Japan as world's No 3
BEIJING - China is set to
emerge as the third-largest trading economy in the
world, with the total value of its exports and imports
expected to grow 30% on the year to US$1.1 trillion in
China is attracting leading global
manufacturers as the world's factory following the
country's entry into the World Trade Organization in
late 2001, and it is starting to do more business with
the European Union and the US than with Japan, its
long-term largest trade partner.
the Chinese government, imports and exports there
totaled $722.1 billion in the January-August period, up
38% from a year earlier and beating Japan's trade value
of $658.1 billion, which rose 20%.
full-year figure is also projected to surpass that of
Japan, which is forecast at around $1 trillion, paving
the way for the country to zoom past Japan to become the
third-largest trading economy after the US and Germany.
As it rapidly expands its business turf
worldwide, China boosted trade with the European Union
and the US by 36% each for the first eight months of
this year, much faster than the 27% increase for trade
with Japan. Consequently, the EU emerged as China's top
trading partner for that term, followed by the US.
This is providing the foundation for Japan to
lose its long-held title as the No 1 economic partner
for the world's most populous country.
mainly importing chips, machine tools, and such raw
materials as oil and iron ore. Its major export items
include home electronics and clothing. The nation has a
trade surplus with the US, while posting a trade deficit
with Japan and South Korea. This clearly illustrates the
global trade structure in which multinational businesses
produce goods in China for shipment to the US.
China's imports grew 40% in the January-August
period, eclipsing the 35% rise in exports, indicating
that the country is gaining prominence as a growing
consumer market. The country became the world's
third-largest importer last year, surpassing Britain,
France and Japan.
Nov 3, 2004
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