Domestic Private Enterprise Ousts Foreign-invested Enterprise as Chief Driver of Chinese Foreign Trade

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Official data indicates that in 2019 domestic private enterprises emerged as the main driver of China’s foreign trade for the first time, surpassing foreign-invested enterprises.

Data from China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) indicates that in 2019 China’s total foreign goods trade was worth 31.54 trillion yuan, for an increase of 3.4% compared to 2018.

Exports were worth 17.23 trillion yuan, for a YoY rise of 5%, while imports were worth 14.31 trillion yuan, for a rise of 1.6%.

China’s trade surplus was 2.92 trillion yuan, for an expansion of 25.45.

GAC data further indicates that in 2019 Chinese private enterprises surpassed foreign-invested enterprises to become the biggest cross-border traders in China’s economy.

Chinese private enterprises accounted for 13.48 trillion yuan in imports and exports, for YoY growth of 11.4%, driving a 4.5 percentage point rise in foreign trade.

Private enterprises accounted for 42.7% of China’s total foreign trade, for a rise of 3.1 percentage points compared to 2018.

Exports by Chinese private enterprises were worth 8.9 trillion yuan, for a rise of 13% compared to the preceding year, while imports were worth 4.58 trillion yuan, for a rise of 8.4%.

Zou Zhiwu (邹志武), vice-head of GAC, said that the number of private enterprises in China with import or export records reached 406,000 in 2019, for an increase of 8.7% compared to the previous year.

“The marked increase in the number of private enterprises reflects ongoing optimisation of the domestic business environment, and is a major expression of the endogenous vitality and increasing activity of Chinese foreign trade,” said Zou.

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