Open Governance
Sichuan's Foreign Trade Grows by 11.8% Year-on-year in January-August and by 6.6% Year-on-year in August

From January to August this year, the value of Sichuan's foreign trade in goods reached 650.17 billion yuan, making the province rank eighth in China, with an increase of 11.8% over the same period last year, according to the data released by Chengdu Customs District, P. R. China on September 11. Specifically, the exports reached 390.93 billion yuan, up 15.8% year-on-year, and the imports totaled 259.24 billion yuan, up 6.2% year-on-year. During the same period, China's imports and exports increased by 10.1%. 

Since the beginning of summer this year, Sichuan has been adversely affected by power rationing due to high temperatures and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in many places in China. How should we see that in the first eight months, Sichuan's foreign trade increased by 11.8% year-on-year? 

Data shows decline in foreign trade with the U.S. and the E.U. but rapid growth in that with ASEAN and South Korea

"In the first eight months of this year, the United States, ASEAN, the European Union and South Korea were Sichuan's four largest trading partners, with whom the value of foreign trade accounted for 61.1% of Sichuan's total. It can be said that these four markets played a key role in Sichuan's foreign trade," said Pan Xudong, Director of the Statistical Analysis Division of Chengdu Customs District. 

According to the data, Sichuan's trade with the United States and the European Union reached 125.51 billion yuan, down 5.5% year-on-year, and 109.02 billion yuan, down 0.3% year-on-year, respectively. At the same time, Sichuan's trade with ASEAN and South Korea amounted to 121.76 billion yuan, up 13.8% year-on-year, and 40.91 billion yuan, up 28.5% year-on-year, respectively. In addition, Sichuan's trade with countries (regions) along the Belt and Road reached 203.54 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%. 

"It can be seen from the data that the markets of countries (regions) along the Belt and Road continue to become important growth points of Sichuan's foreign trade. At the same time, the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have further deepened the economic and trade exchanges between Sichuan and relevant countries (regions)," said Pan. 

What other important signals did Sichuan's foreign trade release in the first eight months? According to the analysis data, on the one hand, the proportion of Sichuan's processing trade continued to decline. In the first eight months, Sichuan's processing trade reached 314.98 billion yuan, down 6.0% year-on-year. The amount accounted for 48.4% of Sichuan's total trade value in the same period, down 9.2 percentage points from the same period last year. On the other hand, Sichuan's general trade continued to grow. In the first eight months, Sichuan's general trade value reached 211.09 billion yuan, up 53.3%. The amount accounted for 32.5% of Sichuan's total trade value in the same period, an increase of 8.8 percentage points over the same period of the previous year. In addition, although Sichuan's bonded logistic trade accounts for a small proportion, it has still achieved rapid development. Pan said that the changes in Sichuan's foreign trade structure indicate that the structure has been continuously optimized with mitigated dependence on the processing trade. 

It is also worth noting that private enterprises have become the main driving force for Sichuan's foreign trade growth. In the first eight months, the import and export value of private enterprises was 210.09 billion yuan, up 44.3% year-on-year. The amount accounted for 32.3% of Sichuan's total trade value in the same period, driving Sichuan's foreign trade to grow by 11.1 percentage points. 

"It has to be mentioned that Chengdu still maintains its leading position, and Yibin, Deyang and other cities have also achieved rapid growth," Pan said that in the first eight months, Chengdu's total import and export volume was 547.07 billion yuan, up 7.1% year-on-year. The amount accounted for 84.1% of Sichuan's total foreign trade value in the same period. Chengdu still remained a leader, but its proportion in Sichuan's foreign trade decreased by 3.7 percentage points compared with the same period last year. The growth rates of Yibin and Deyang reached 52.0% and 57.1% respectively. 

In response to the high temperatures and COVID-19 cases, Sichuans trade still achieves a year-on-year increase in August 

"Although Sichuan suffered from adverse effects of high temperatures, drought and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in August, the import and export volume still reached 85.04 billion yuan, up 6.6% year-on-year. The basic trend of steady trade growth with a sound momentum remains unchanged," analyzed the head of the Foreign Trade Operation Division of Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. 

The analysis is consistent with Chengdu Customs District's statistical data in the past three months. In June, Sichuan's trade in goods was 83.15 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 5.8%. In July, the amount was 86.8 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 4.7%. In August, the amount dropped slightly compared with last month, but the year-on-year increase was further expanded. 

In order to fully stabilize foreign trade, multiple departments in Sichuan Province have made concerted efforts. They have given priority to guaranteeing the production for foreign trade orders, high-value orders, key equipment and key customers, and actively guided enterprises to accelerate the progress through staggered production, establish "COVID-19 bubbles" and realize closed-loop production. At the same time, they have continued to innovate types of foreign trade to support the healthy development of small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Sichuan Machinery Import & Export Co., Ltd. is engaged in the export of machine tool products to European and American markets. The company's export orders account for more than 90% of its total. "Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, high temperatures and other factors, orders have dropped by about a quarter in 2022." The person in charge of the company told that in order to expand the market and stabilize the orders, the company actively went global by visiting customers and participating in exhibitions in European and American markets, and the factory speeded up the progress through off-peak production at night and self-purchased generators. "Going global alone is expected to bring in orders of more than 6 million U.S. dollars," said the person in charge. 

Moreover, Sichuan has supported the development of small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises in various ways. A few days ago, Chengdu launched the transport for an order with small commodities worth 470,000 yuan, which was the first of procurement trade in Sichuan market under the Transport International Router (TIR) system. "It is the first time that the procurement trade in Sichuan market adopts this mode to transport goods to Europe. For the export of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, there are more channel options." The head of Chengdu Zhongsiji International Trade Co., Ltd. said that the market procurement trade is of great significance to the "going global" of small commodities due to its advantages of entities in a wider scope, faster export customs clearance, more favorable tax policy and more flexible foreign exchange management. Without unpacking for check and other formalities, the export of goods to Europe under the TIR system can reduce the transport time and cost by 40% and 30% respectively. 

In order to reduce the burden on enterprises and make foreign trade smoother, Chengdu has successively coordinated and solved nearly 1,200 problems in the production and operation of foreign trade enterprises and import and export customs clearance in the past two months. It has provided nearly 6,800 services to enterprises, coordinated and satisfied 150 enterprise needs by "giving policies, finance, scenarios and space", and thus ensured the healthy development of foreign trade enterprises. While doing a good job in regular epidemic prevention and control, Yibin has provided satisfactory services for foreign trade enterprises to ensure the normal production and operation of them. In the first eight months of this year, the total import and export value of the lithium battery industry in Yibin was 3.671 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 91.59%. In particular, the imports and exports of Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry Co., Ltd., a key enterprise, increased by 991.59% year-on-year in the same period. 

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