China's exports increased by 30 per cent year-on-year in December 2002 to stand at US$31.89bn, while imports rose by 28 per cent to reach US$28.73bn, International Business Daily said. Exports totalled US$325.57bn over the whole of 2002, 22 per cent higher than in the previous year, while imports rose by 21 per cent to reach US$295.22bn. The trade surplus for 2002 was US$30.35bn, up US$7.8bn on 2001. The continuing strong performance of exports was attributed by analysts to foreign firms shifting production to China. The country has also benefited from the weakness of the US dollar, which makes its exports cheaper to the rest of the world.
However, the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, a think-tank under the State Development Planning Commission, predicted in January that China's export growth could slow sharply to around 10 per cent this year, Reuters reported.
Shenzhen was the biggest exporting city in 2002, for the 10th year in a row. The city in Guangdong province recorded a 24 per cent year-on-year increase in exports to US$49.96bn. Imports climbed 31 per cent to US$39.47bn, reported People's Daily.