China goals for reasonable export enlargement, not focuses on surplus-think tank

© Reuters. Huang Qifan, Vice Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), attends the 2019 New Economy Forum in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will no longer aim at achieving trade surpluses and solely expanding exports, but will pivot to moderately expanding imports for a balance between inbound and outbound shipments, a senior official from a state-affiliated think tank said on Sunday.

“This will not only help China to take the initiative in the new round of economic and trade negotiations, but also help promote the internationalisation of yuan,” said Huang Qifan, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, during a financial forum.

China will import over $22 trillion worth of goods over the next decade, and the country is accelerating its opening up in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier this month.

Big exporting countries might “not be economically powerful”, as their exported products could be labour-intensive or processed using imported raw materials, Huang said.

Instead, large importing economies are generally powerful, partly as their currencies are directly used in settlements of transactions, he said.

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