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Sichuan Sees a Year-on-year Increase of 21.5% in Imports and Exports in the First Four Months of 2022
Updated:2022.05.18

On May 16, the reporter learned from Chengdu Customs that in the first four months of this year, Sichuan's imports and exports of trade in goods totaled 323.2 billion yuan, ranking the eighth in China, with an increase of 21.5% over the same period of last year. Its growth rate ranks the seventh in China. Specifically, exports reached 196.26 billion yuan, up 29.6%; imports totaled 126.94 billion yuan, up 10.7%. 

What are the general trends of Sichuan's foreign trade from January to April? What are the drivers of Sichuan's sustained growth in foreign trade? And what does the slowed growth implicate? The reporter interviewed relevant personnel. 

Private businesses contributed 80.5% to Sichuan's foreign trade 

Statistically speaking, Sichuan's foreign trade in the first four months saw an increase in the proportion of general trade, maintained steady growth with major trading partners, private businesses showed strong momentum, and the exports of mechanical and electrical products remained stable. 

According to the statistics, Sichuan's imports and exports in the first four months reached 106.79 billion yuan by general trade, an increase of 79.3%, accounting for 33% of the provincial total in the same period last year, up 10.6 percentage points over the same period of last year; the imports and exports by processing trade reached 153.61 billion yuan, down 6.1%, accounting for 47.5% of the provincial total in the same period, down 14 percentage points over the same period of last year; the imports and exports by bonded logistics reached 49.48 billion yuan, an increase of 29%, accounting for 15.3% of the provincial total in the same period, up 0.9 percentage points over the same period of last year. 

In the first four months, the imports from and exports to the US, ASEAN, EU, Taiwan (China) and Japan, Sichuan's top five trading partners, accounted for 66% of the provincial total in the same period. 

In terms of foreign trade entities, there were 5,156 foreign trade enterprises with actual performance in Sichuan in the first four months, an increase of 601 compared with the same period of last year. The imports and exports of private businesses reached 107.96 billion yuan, an increase of 74.2%, accounting for 33.4% of the provincial total in the same period, up 10.1 percentage points over the same period of the previous year. Private businesses contributed 80.5% to Sichuan's foreign trade. 

In terms of the categories of import-export commodities, the international market's demand for Chinese products has increased as global economy recovers. From January to April this year, Sichuan exported 147.09 billion yuan of mechanical and electrical products, an increase of 11.3%, accounting for 74.9% of the provincial total in the same period. To be specific, despite the decrease of the exports of laptops and integrate circuit, the exports of other mechanical and electrical products including tablets, electrical components, automobiles, and steel showed a steady growth trend. During the same period, the exports of Sichuan's labor-intensive products tripled to 19.15 billion yuan, representing 9.8% of the provincial total in the same period. Specifically, the exports of cotton garment and clothing accessories, bags and similar containers, furniture and their parts increased by 9.4 times, four times and 3.3 times respectively. 

Three major factors drove the Sichuan's foreign trade 

From January to April, Sichuan's foreign trade continued the growth momentum, with an increase of more than 20%. What supported the sustained growth of its foreign trade? 

According to Pan Xudong, director of Statistics and Analysis Department of Chengdu Customs, Sichuan's focus on high-quality development and the implementation of more policies to ease the difficulty of enterprises are the major drivers for the growth of Sichuan's foreign trade. Moreover, rising prices of imported bulk commodities have added import value to some extent. 

"In recent years, Sichuan has adhered to and expanded high-level opening-up, accelerated the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, continuously improved the transportation and logistics infrastructure such as the international aviation hubs, supported the development of the high-level open platform and high-level open economy, continuously optimized the business environment, stabilized the economic fundamentals of foreign trade and foreign investment, and strongly supported the steady growth of Sichuan's imports and exports with its major trading partners." said Pan Xudong. Statistically speaking, from January to April, Sichuan's imports and exports to the US, ASEAN and EU, its top three trading partners, increased by 3.4%, 24% and 5.9% respectively, driving the overall growth of imports and exports by 6.3 percentage points. 

This year, Sichuan has implemented the national policies of tax refunds, reductions and fee cuts, and increased the support for enterprises, maintained smooth logistics, kept industrial and supply chains stable, successively launched 14 measures to promote stable growth of industrial economy and 43 policies to ease the difficulties of the service sector, strongly supported the development of various market entities, and further stimulated the vitality of foreign trade market entities. From January to April, there were 5,156 foreign trade enterprises with actual performance in Sichuan, an increase of 601 compared with the same period of last year. 

"At the same time, it should be noted that global energy and food prices have increased due to multiple factors this year, which has, to a certain extent, boosted the import value." Pan Xudong said that by the end of April this year, the Reuters CRB index, which reflects international commodity prices, was up nearly 32%. Driven by rising prices, Sichuan's imports of bulk commodities such as metallic ore and coal increased by 3.2 times and 38.5% respectively from January to April. 

Sichuan will provide strong support to achieve stable and high-quality foreign trade 

What will the trend of Sichuan's foreign trade be like in the next stage? According to Chengdu Customs, on the one hand, the imports and exports of Sichuan's electronic information industry have seen sluggish growth due to the global shortage of chips and disrupted supply chain caused by the global pandemic; on the other hand, Sichuan already registered high import and export volume last year, and in particular, Sichuan's imports and exports per month after last May continued to rise. Therefore, on the basis of large import and export volume, it requires greater efforts to achieve stable and high-quality foreign trade. 

"At the same time, however, it should also be noted that Sichuan can still provide strong support to achieve stable and high-quality foreign trade throughout the year." The person in charge believes that China's foreign trade will remain resilient and has huge potential. Sichuan has a large population, a solid industrial foundation and a broad market space, and thanks to the ongoing global economic recovery as well as the increasing demand of the international market for Chinese products, Sichuan's progress in achieving stable and high-quality foreign trade is really something to behold.

 
 
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