In response to China's outstanding export data last quarter, some analysts may attribute the higher-than-expected export figure to a rise in sales of personal protection equipment (PPE) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. But former deputy commerce minister Wei Jianguo believes this is a superficial assumption, as stated in a recent interview.
Customs data shows that China's exports surged 10.2 percent year-on-year to 5 trillion yuan ($747.74 billion) in the third quarter, even with a backdrop of a global economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some trade observers claim that the growth of China's exports in recent months is because the country has sold large quantities of COVID-19 prevention material, such as face masks and ventilators, worldwide.
"Anti-epidemic material exports are one of the reasons, but it would be superficial to attribute the high growth of exports solely to the sales of anti-epidemic materials," Wei said.
The credit of China's outstanding export performance goes to the country successively containing the coronavirus, and reopening the economy, at the earliest possible time globally, said Wei.
At a time when other countries and regions are unable to resume production, China has produced goods of quantity and quality through its complete industrial chains and supply chains, and Chinese enterprises have delivered goods on time even if logistics was broadly disrupted by the pandemic, Wei noted.
As to whether the COVID-19 resurgence in some countries will affect China's exports in the fourth quarter, Wei said that more global orders would likely be transferred to China, based on China's enhanced industrial and supply chains. "In fact, orders have already begun transferring into China," He said.
Based on advantages such as enhanced industrial chains and supply chains, as well as the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce, Wei predicted that China's foreign trade will achieve higher growth this year.
The strong increase in quarterly exports will enhance China's influence in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the WTO, and will also help accelerate the China-Japan-Korea free trade area negotiations, Wei said.