Chinese officials on Monday hailed stable foreign trade in the first half of the year, which returned to growth after seeing declines for two straight years, as global trade improves and domestic policies take effect that reduce costs for companies.
During the period, foreign trade grew 19.6 percent year-on-year to 13.14 trillion yuan (.95 trillion), while exports increased 15 percent and imports rose 25.7 percent, both on a year-on-year basis, Qian Keming, a vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press briefing.
"This has changed a declining situation in the past two years," Qian said, noting that rebounding global trade and domestic policies to support foreign trade helped the turnaround. A "comparatively low" base number during the same period last year also lifted the growth rate, he said.
However, problems still exist, including an escalating trend of trade protectionism, according to Long Guoqiang, vice director of the Development Research Center of the State Council.
"Some major economies that have long been promoting free trade have blamed issues such as the income gap on economic globalization," Long told the same briefing on Monday, adding that protectionism is on the rise.