China's foreign trade passed the US$1trn mark by the end of November, official statistics showed. That puts the country on course to become the world's third largest trading power, the Ministry of Commerce said. From January to November China notched up a trade volume of US$1.04trn, with a surplus of US$20.8bn. In 2003 China was the world's fourth largest trader, behind the United States, Germany and Japan. However, a ministry official said the figures also showed that China was still far off reaching its full potential as a trading power, given its meager per capita trade volume and the low competitiveness of its exports. Despite the strong growth in overall trade, per capita trade volume in China stood at less than US$850, compared with the global average of US$2,400.