Tougher times to come in 2017: MOFCOM

Updated 2016-12-27 10:02:34 Global Times

Transformation of growth model, industrial upgrading key

China faced increasing trade friction in 2016 and the situation is likely to become tougher in 2017, an official said Monday.

There is no obvious sign of a recovery in the global economy and industries across the globe are under great pressure, leading to rising trade barriers and protectionism in the world, Wang Hejun, director of Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), told a briefing in Beijing.

As of December 21 this year, 27 countries and regions had launched 117 trade remedy investigations against China-made products, with trade involving .98 billion, according to data released by the MOFCOM. The number of probes was up 34.5 percent year-on-year.

Among all Chinese exports, steel was the top target of trade friction in the global markets, Wang said, noting that as of December 21, at least 21 countries and regions had launched 45 trade remedy investigations into Chinese steel products. And "China's steel industry will continue to see most trade friction in 2017," Wang forecast.

As China is pursuing growth in advanced industries, more friction related to such products is likely to come, he said. "No matter how hard the prospects are, we are prepared to deal with [challenges]."

Wang noted that the Chinese government is devoted to transforming the nation's model of economic growth by upgrading and innovating industries to improve the competitiveness of Chinese products, which is "the fundamental method of addressing trade friction."

Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said in a report Monday on the ministry's website that China's outbound direct investment (ODI) in non-financial sectors increased 55.3 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months and China's full-year non-financial ODI is expected to reach 1.12 trillion yuan (1.17 billion).

The ministry will step up efforts to stabilize foreign trade and facilitate the sound and orderly growth of outbound investment, according to Gao.

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