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


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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