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Fight trade protectionism, says China
March 22, 2013, 6:56 am


China wants an eight per cent increase in foreign trade this year [Xinhua]

China has stressed the need to battle against trade protectionism and expand its own market consumption.

“Under the current situation, we should first safeguard existing multilateral trade rules and fight trade protectionism,” said Gao Hucheng, China’s commerce minister.

Despite mounting challenges, China will work hard to stabilise its overseas markets, Hucheng said on Thursday.

Foreign trade restructuring will be stressed to improve trade quality and build technology, brands, quality and service as new trade advantages, the new minister said during an interview with Xinhua.

In the domestic market the priority is expanding consumption and cutting logistics costs, Gao said.

In regards to regional economic integration, the minister said every economy has the right to choose a suitable economic integration path based on its own situation and development level, and China holds an open and tolerant attitude toward this.

The international trade rule system represented by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the foundation for global free trade, and its role can not be replaced by any regional pacts, Gao said.

China eyes an eight per cent increase in foreign trade in 2013.

Its foreign trade climbed 6.2 per cent year on year to $3.87 trillion last year, considerably lower than the 10 per cent growth previously targeted by the government.

China has targeted 7.5 per cent economic growth and 3.5 per cent inflation this year.