China to focus on emerging markets
Wang Shouwen, director general for foreign trade for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, told a news conference that he does not expect a rebound in demand next year from international markets, and Europe in particular.
Mr Wang said China will continue to face rising domestic costs for labour, land and raw materials. The appreciation of the yuan, China's currency, will add to that pressure, he added. A stronger yuan makes China's exports less competitive in overseas markets.
"Next year we will face severe challenges," Mr Wang said. "But we've noted that there are currently some developing and emerging economies that are doing relatively well with sound economic performance, so we will attach more importance to these markets next year."
"If the European financial crisis doesn't run out of control, we should be able to achieve a considerable level of growth in foreign trade," he said.
Mr Wang did not list any specific emerging markets but said China was hopeful of demand for its products from countries in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and Central Asia.
He said China would also boost support for homegrown enterprises in brand building, research and development, design and marketing to help them step up their competitiveness.
Mr Wang was one of several officials briefing reporters on the release of a ministry report on trade, which said China had made progress in rebalancing its trade away from the huge surpluses of the past, while fostering dynamism that has contributed to the global economy.
© 2011 Press Association