China does not intentionally seek a large trade surplus and it will focus on expanding imports in the coming years, President Hu Jintao said yesterday at a ceremony commemorating the 10-year anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization.
The ultimate aim is to have balanced trade and that total imports will exceed US$8 trillion over the next five years, Hu said.
"China will continue to open its market, attracting more advanced technology from the outside and bolstering higher-valued products to become more competitive," Hu said. China's industries of the future will be cleaner, more technological, more value-added and be able to create more jobs. "It requires deeper cooperation with foreign countries," Hu added.
Meanwhile, China will expand imports to balance exports. Hu said the government will adjust policies to lower import costs and make the trading system more efficient for importers. When exports need to stabilize amid shrinking external demand, imports will serve more as a positive element to ensure trade remains a contributor to China's economy.
China's exports grew at their slowest pace in nine months in November, and the trade surplus in the first 11 months was US$138.4 billion, down 18.2 percent from a year earlier.