BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- China's total imports and exports expanded 4.7 percent year on year to 16.77 trillion yuan in the first five months of 2023, showing continued resilience amid sluggish external demand.
Exports grew 8.1 percent year on year while imports rose 0.5 percent in the first five months, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Wednesday.
In U.S. dollar terms, total foreign trade came in at 2.44 trillion U.S. dollars in the period.
In May alone, foreign trade increased 0.5 percent year on year, marking the fourth consecutive month of foreign trade growth, according to the GAC.
From January to May, trade with member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement witnessed stable growth, accounting for more than 30 percent of the country's total foreign trade, GAC data showed.
The growth rate of China's trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union stood at 9.9 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
China's trade with Belt and Road countries rose 13.2 percent year on year to 5.78 trillion yuan in the period.
In particular, trade with five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- surged 44 percent year on year, the GAC said.
In the January-May period, imports and exports by private enterprises jumped 13.1 percent to 8.86 trillion yuan, accounting for 52.8 percent of the country's total.
In terms of the types of goods, exports of mechanical and electrical products expanded by 9.5 percent to account for 57.9 percent of the total exports.
China has introduced a series of policy measures to stabilize the scale and optimize the structure of foreign trade, which has helped business operators actively respond to the challenges brought by weakening external demand and effectively seize market opportunities, said Lyu Daliang, an official with the GAC.
The Ministry of Commerce said on Monday that the country is building a global-oriented and fully open unified domestic market. The unified market will provide various market entities, including foreign-invested enterprises, with a better environment and a bigger arena.
Economic expos, trade expos and special working mechanisms for major foreign investment projects will be leveraged in an improved manner to provide more platforms and better services, according to the ministry.
To keep foreign trade stable, the country will create more opportunities, stabilize trade of vital products and support foreign trade companies.
To improve the foreign trade structure, China will formulate green and low-carbon standards for some foreign trade products, guide enterprises to make good use of cross-border e-commerce retail export-related tax policies and improve the efficiency of customs clearance.