The vice-minister of foreign trade, Zhou Keren, said at the end of May that uncertainties in the world economy and problems restricting export expansion did not allow "blind optimism" on China’s export growth, Xinhua reported. However, he added that while trade protectionism was increasingly becoming a burden on Chinese exporters, growth in exports would be underpinned by stable demand for low-end consumer products. The ministry is planning to help exporters with a further round of tax rebates.
Earlier in the month, a think-tank under the foreign trade ministry had predicted that China’s exports would grow by 7 per cent this year. This is just higher than the 6.8 per cent recorded in 2001, but far less than the 27.8 per cent of 2000. China’s exports rose by 12 per cent year-on-year in the first four months of this year.