SCIO briefing on China's import and export in the first half of 2021
Beijing | 10 a.m. July 13, 2021

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) held a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday about China's import and export in the first half of 2021.

Speaker

Li Kuiwen, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs and director of the Department of Statistics and Analysis at the General Administration of Customs

Chairperson

Shou Xiaoli, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

Read in Chinese

Speaker:

Li Kuiwen, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs (GACC) and director of the Department of Statistics & Analysis of the General Administration of Customs 

Chairperson:

Shou Xiaoli, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and SCIO spokesperson

Date:

July 13, 2021


Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to this press conference from the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is a routine press conference on China's annual economic standing. Today, we are delighted to be joined by Mr. Li Kuiwen, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs (GACC) and director of the Department of Statistics & Analysis of the General Administration of Customs, who will introduce China's import and export performance in the first half of 2021 and answer your questions.

We will first invite Mr. Li Kuiwen to give a brief introduction.

Li Kuiwen:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning! It's a great pleasure to meet with you at today's press conference. I'll begin by introducing China's import and export performance in the first half of 2021, and then answer your questions.

In the first half of this year, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China continued to consolidate its achievements in coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development. Foreign trade continued its stable and sound performance and registered a historical high. According to statistics from the GACC, China's total foreign trade expanded 27.1% year on year to 18.07 trillion yuan (about $2.79 trillion) in the first half of the year. Exports grew by 28.1% to 9.85 trillion yuan, while imports increased by 25.9% to 8.22 trillion yuan. Compared with the same period in 2019, foreign trade, exports and imports increased by 22.8%, 23.8%, and 21.7% respectively. Specifically, there were six main features which I will outline now

First, imports and exports have continued to increase year on year for 13 consecutive months. In June, the country's imports and exports went up 22% year on year to 3.29 trillion yuan, marking a positive growth for the 13th month in a row since June of 2020.

Second, China's trade with its main trading partners maintained sound growth. In the first half of the year, China's trade with its top three trading partners, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, and the United States, stood at 2.66 trillion, 2.52 trillion, and 2.21 trillion yuan, up 27.8%, 26.7%, and 34.6% respectively. Meanwhile, trade with Japan reached 1.18 trillion yuan, an increase of 14.5%. During the same period, China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose 27.5% year on year while trade with countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership grew 22.7% year on year.

Third, China's general trade grew rapidly. In the first half of the year, China's general trade stood at 11.19 trillion yuan, an increase of 30.7%, accounting for 61.9% of the country's total foreign trade value, an increase of 1.7 percentage points over the same period last year. Meanwhile, exports reached 6.02 trillion yuan, up 32.1%, while imports reached 5.17 trillion yuan, up 29.2%. During the same period, the imports and exports of processing trade climbed 15.8% to 3.89 trillion yuan, accounting for 21.5%.

Fourth, the main role of the private sector has been consolidated. In the first half of the year, the imports and exports of the country's private businesses reached 8.64 trillion yuan, an increase of 35.1%, which accounted for 47.8% of the total foreign trade value, up 2.8 percentage points over the same period last year. It continued to rank as China's biggest foreign trade entity. In the same period, the imports and exports of foreign-invested enterprises marked 6.61 trillion yuan, an increase of 19%; while state-owned enterprises accumulated 2.75 trillion yuan in imports and exports, an increase of 23.8%.

Fifth, the proportion of exports of electromechanical products has increased. In the first half of the year, China's exports of electromechanical products increased by 29.5% to 5.83 trillion yuan, making up 59.2% of the total exports, and increasing 0.6 percentage points year on year. Exports of automatic data processing equipment and its parts, mobile phones, and automobiles increased by 17%, 23.3%, and 101.4%. In the same period, exports of labor-intensive products increased by 17.1%, and pharmaceutical materials and medicines increased by 93.6%.

Sixth, imports of iron ore, natural gas and other bulk commodities increased. In the first half of the year, China imported 561 million tons of iron ore, up 2.6%; 59.82 million tons of natural gas, up 23.8%; 48.96 million tons of soybeans, up 8.7%; 15.3 million tons of corn, up 318.5%; and 5.37 million tons of wheat, up 60.1%. During the same period, imports of crude oil stood at 261 million tons, down by 3%.

Generally speaking, in the first half of the year, China's foreign trade has stayed on an upward trajectory since the latter half of last year, with a relatively rapid growth rate, laying a solid foundation for the steady and high-quality growth of foreign trade throughout the whole year. China Customs will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and implement the spirit of the speech made by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the ceremony celebrating the CPC's centenary. China Customs will stick to its new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm in the new development stage; ensure the six priorities and stability in six areas (employment, finance, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and market expectations); and strive to achieve higher-level opening-up and quality development of foreign trade. GACC will contribute to ensure a good start of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) in the development of foreign trade.

Next, I'll be answering your questions.

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Shou Xiaoli:

Thank you, Mr. Li. Now the floor is open to questions. Please identify your news outlet before raising questions.

CCTV:

You just introduced that China's foreign trade achieved double-digit year-on-year growth in the first half of this year, demonstrating positive growth for 13 consecutive months. In your opinion, what are the main drivers of China's continuous growth in foreign trade? Is China able to maintain such steady and positive trend in foreign trade in the second half of the year? And what's your forecast for China's foreign trade in the second half of the year? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your questions. In the first half of this year, China's domestic economy has been stable, strong, and improved steadily, and foreign trade increased rapidly. In the first half of this year, China's total imports and exports hit record high of 18.07 trillion yuan. The nation's total foreign trade expanded by 22.8% compared with the same period of 2019, posing positive growth for 13 consecutive months. The momentum of steady growth in foreign trade was further consolidated. Specifically, the main reasons driving the continuous growth include:

First, thanks to the stable and growing domestic economy, the vitality of market entities has been stimulated, which provided strong support for the steady growth of foreign trade. In the first half of the year, the Chinese economy steadily recovered; major economic indicators, including industrial added value, fixed asset investment, and total retail sales of consumer goods improved continuously; and production and demand continued to rebound. This has laid a solid foundation for the steady growth of foreign trade. In particular, relying on China's policies to ensure steady growth in foreign trade, the number of platforms of high-level opening up increased rapidly, and the advantages of new trade forms and models became more prominent. The data shows that in the first half of the year, imports and exports from comprehensive bonded zones increased by 29.1%, imports and exports from pilot free trade zones increased by 32.1%, and imports and exports of the Hainan Free Trade Port increased by 46.1%, all significantly higher than the country's overall growth rate. In the same period, imports and exports of cross-border e-commerce grew 28.6%, and exports of market purchases increased by 49.1%. In the first half of the year, the number of Chinese enterprises with actual import and export performance increased from 36,000 to 479,000. Meanwhile, Chinese foreign trade enterprises spared no efforts to maintain stability in production and foreign trade, and the amount of imported and exported goods increased by 16% and 29%, respectively. This bolstered the security and stability of international industrial chain and supply chain and further consolidated the sound momentum of China's foreign trade development.

Second, the sustained recovery of the global economy has boosted external demand. In the first half of the year, several international organizations upgraded their forecasts for this year's global economic growth. For example, in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its global growth forecast for 2021 to 6%. In June, the World Bank raised its estimate to 5.6%. The global economic recovery has boosted international trade and China's exports. In the first half of the year, China's exports to the U.S., the EU, and ASEAN countries increased by 31.7%, 25.5%, and 27.8%, respectively, while China's exports to Latin America and Africa grew by 47% and 27.7%, respectively.

In addition, last year's lower base and price factors also, to some extent, helped drive the growth of foreign trade. In the first half of last year, China's import and export volume fell by 3.3% year-on-year, only equivalent to the same period in 2018. This year, the overall price of global commodity markets has shown an upward trend. At the end of June, the CRB index, a representative indicator of global commodity markets, increased by over 25% since the beginning of 2021 and more than doubled compared with the lowest point in the first half of last year. Influenced by the rising prices of global major commodities, China's import price index is estimated to be 108.5 for the first half of this year, while the contribution rate of price to import growth is estimated to be 35.4%.

As for China's foreign trade outlook in the second half of the year, in general, as COVID-19 keeps wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, China's foreign trade still faces uncertainties in a complex global epidemic environment. In the second half of last year, China's total imports and exports grew 27% compared with the first half of last year. With a higher base, the growth rate of China's foreign trade may slow down in the second half of this year. However, imports and exports are still expected to maintain relatively rapid growth throughout the year. Thank you.

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Nikkei: 

In the first half of the year, only imports of crude oil declined among major commodities. What's the reason according to the GACC? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

As I mentioned just now, international commodity prices grew rapidly in the first half of the year. Since the second half of 2020, the prices of international crude oil and iron ore have skyrocketed. Customs statistics show the average price of crude oil imports in China in the first half of the year stood at 2,888.5 yuan per tonne, up by 20.5% year-on-year, while that of iron ore imports into China jumped 67.3% to 1,075.8 yuan per tonne. We should recognize that the Chinese economy continues its stable and sound performance, and factors conducive to the stable operation of prices are increasing. Recently, the State Council has made policies to ensure the stable supply and price of commodities, and the policies are beginning to pay in terms of helping stabilize the market. Rising international commodity prices have temporarily increased enterprises' production costs, but the risks posed by imported inflation are manageable on the whole. Thank you.

BRTV:

Regarding consolidation of primate enterprises' leading role, as was just introduced, what factors support this development? What are the characteristics and highlights of private enterprises? Thank you. 

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for asking. In recent years, internal forces driving China's foreign trade have strengthened and private enterprises have gradually become the top actor in China's foreign trade. In the first half of the year, foreign trade in the private sector increased by 35.1% to 8.64 trillion yuan, accounting for 47.8% of the total Chinese foreign trade, or a 2.8 percentage points increase. Specifically, exports increased by 35.6% to 5.59 trillion yuan, while imports rose 34.3% to 3.05 trillion yuan. The characteristics and highlights of China's private sector in the first half of the year are as follows:

First, imports and exports in the private sector have become more vibrant and resilient. Private enterprises have given full play to their advantages in initiative and flexibility of production and business operations to capture market opportunities. They also demonstrate a quick response to domestic and international market demand, showing greater vitality and resilience in foreign trade development. In the first half of the year, the growth of foreign trade, imports, and exports was 8, 7.5, and 8.4 percentage points higher than overall growth, respectively. Specifically, exports of household appliances, computers, pharmaceutical materials, and medicines rose by 46.2%, 38.7%, and 70.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, exports of metallic ores and ore sand, unwrought copper and copper materials, and cosmetics jumped by 66%, 65.2%, and 38.8%, respectively.

Second, the number of private enterprises witnessing record import and export performances has been increasing. In the first half of the year, that number rose by 37,000 year-on-year to 397,000, with records being witnessed by 82.8% of the total enterprises.

Third, regional development has become more balanced. Imports and exports of private enterprises in China's Midwest registered a 44.6% growth, 9.5 percentage points higher than the overall growth in the private sector. Eight of the top 10 private enterprises in import and export growth come from the Midwest.

Fourth, market expansion has been strengthening. In the first half of the year, imports and exports of private enterprises for the EU, the US, Japan, South Korea, and other traditional markets grew 31.4%, 45.7%, 19.8%, and 28.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, imports and exports among private enterprises for the BRI partner countries climbed 34.5%, of which imports and exports to ASEAN countries increased 37.3%. Thank you.

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Commercial Radio Hong Kong:

Guangdong province saw a COVID-19 outbreak in May and June, and commodity prices continued to rise. What impacts did the two factors have on China's exports in the second quarter, especially in June? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

Thanks for your question. In late May, COVID-19 hit Guangzhou and Shenzhen, causing congestion in some ports. Feedback shows that the port congestion had a certain impact on deliveries and taking deliveries by some enterprises, and the freight rates of relevant air routes fluctuated to some extent. As the epidemic prevention and control situation improves in the relevant regions, port capacity is also gradually recovering. On June 24, the overall operations in Yantian Port had fully resumed, and other ports are also resuming their full operations.

The GACC acted rapidly to reduce congestion in some ports. By strictly enforcing epidemic prevention and control measures and guaranteeing the clearance efficiency of imports and exports, GACC mobilizes personnel to ensure frontline supervision. For instance, Shenzhen customs has taken a series of measures to improve clearance efficiency, reduce congestion, and relieve operating pressure through innovations in logistics modes, speeding up the allocation of ships and containers between ports, optimizing examination modes, extending time limits for advance declarations, and flexibly using integrated customs clearance. Guangzhou customs, together with other local departments, has activated emergency plans to promote interconnection between ports in its jurisdiction, enhancing clearance time limit monitoring, optimizing regulatory resources, and speeding up examination and regulatory work to accelerate goods clearance. Now, at the main ports of southern China, the whole export clearance process by sea can be completed in one hour on average. There is no backlog due to customs supervision.

Next, customs will continue to improve the port business environment, and work hard to implement epidemic prevention and control measures and offer security clearance services. Thanks. 

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CNBC:

I have two questions. Can you provide more details of European car exports, especially in the second quarter. The second question is about cross-border e-commerce: What is your analysis of the second-quarter data, especially that of June. 

Li Kuiwen:

I will first provide some data about trade between China and the European Union (EU). We are mutually main economic and trade partners with highly economic complementarity and huge potential for cooperation. Greater economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU will be beneficial to improving people's wellbeing, jointly addressing global challenges, and shoring up the recovery of the world economy. 

According to customs statistics, bilateral trade volume reached 2.52 trillion yuan in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 26.7%, with exports hitting 1.51 trillion yuan, up 25.5%, and imports reaching 1.01 trillion yuan, up 28.5%. China-EU trade accounts for 13.9% of China's total foreign trade, making the EU China's second-largest trade partner after ASEAN. From April last year to June 2021, monthly bilateral trade maintained positive growth for 15 consecutive months, with almost eight months posting double-digit growth. In the first half of this year, 16.6% of our electromechanical products and 15.4% of labor-intensive products were exported to the EU, and 35.1% of our importing consumer goods, including cars, as you mentioned, were from the EU. The rapid growth of bilateral trade shows the vitality and resilience of China-EU trade cooperation.  

As for the cross-border e-commerce data, I have presented my findings during the general introduction just now. Thanks. 

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South China Morning Post:

Could you please give us the latest news about China-U.S. trade and China's purchases of U.S. goods under the phase-one economic and trade agreement? A previous study shows that less than 70% of the phase-one agreement has been completed in the first five months of this year. What other measures are there to promote the accomplishment of purchasing goals in the deal? Thanks. 

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your questions. I will first brief you on China-U.S. trade in the first half of this year: Bilateral goods trade volume reached 2.21 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 34.6%, and exports hit 1.64 trillion yuan, up 31.7%. Specifically, electromechanical exports reached 1.01 trillion yuan, up 34.2%, and labor-intensive exports hit 372.2 billion yuan, up 24.1%. As for specific products, exports of computers, cellphones, home appliances, garments, plastic products, and furniture have all increased.  

Imports from the U.S. reached 570.65 billion yuan in the first half of this year, up 43.9%, including 238.86 billion yuan in electromechanical products, up 13.4%, and 136.01 billion yuan in agricultural products, up 120.8%.

As for the progress for implementing the first phase of the China-U.S. trade agreement, related departments have already made statements, and I have no more information to add. Thanks.

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China Daily:

Can you elaborate on the situation and the highlights of trade between China and Belt and Road countries in the first half of 2021? Thanks.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your question. Since the Belt and Road Initiative was launched, China has seen an increase in trade with Belt and Road countries. Especially since last year, we have achieved fruitful outcomes as we offered mutual assistant and protection, and jointly overcame difficulties to deepen our trade and cooperation despite the impact of COVID-19. Official data from the GACC showed that China's imports and exports with Belt and Road countries expanded 27.5% year on year to 5.35 trillion yuan in the first half of the year, which was 0.4 percentage point higher than the growth of the country's overall foreign trade. It accounted for 29.6% of China's total imports and exports during this period. Specifically, the nation's exports with Belt and Road countries surged 29.1% year on year to 3.03 trillion yuan and its imports grew 25.6% to 2.32 trillion yuan. The main highlights are as follows.

First, China continues to stay active in trade, featuring a fast growth in its imports and exports with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among others. In the first half of 2021, China's imports and exports with ASEAN climbed by 27.8% to 2.66 trillion yuan. There was a 30.7% increase with Vietnam and 33.1% with Malaysia respectively. China's imports and exports with India and the UAE jumped by 50.5% and 32.8% respectively. In addition, there was an increase of 40.6% with Poland and 39.4% with Turkey.

Second, exports of "stay-at-home economy" products, steel and automobiles to Belt and Road countries have become a major driving force for export growth. In the first half of the year, China's exports of "stay-at-home economy" products, such as computers, home appliances and furniture, registered 187.3 billion yuan, up 35.1%; exports of steel jumped by 47.8% to 127.87 billion yuan; exports of automobiles and relevant parts rose by 54.6% to 105.02 billion yuan; and exports of pharmaceutical materials and drugs surged by 95% to 42.56 billion yuan.

Third, China has deepened its cooperation in the energy, agricultural and mining industries, witnessing a steady growth of imported crude oil, agricultural products and metallic minerals. In the first half of the year, China imported 511.46 billion yuan of crude oil from Belt and Road countries, up 15%. Meanwhile, imported agricultural products and metallic minerals reached 162.57 billion yuan and 109.16 billion yuan respectively, with an increase of 30.9% and 56.1%. In addition, the imports of coal and copper products reached 58.58 billion yuan and 52.05 billion yuan, rising by 38.5% and 40.6% respectively.

Fourth, China-Europe freight trains have shown great advantages and become a pillar force in stabilizing trade between China and Belt and Road countries. The trains, with their unique strength in safety and stable operation, have safeguarded smooth logistic flow during the pandemic. According to data released by China Railway Group, 7,377 China-Europe freight trains were handled and 707,000 standard packing boxes of goods were sent in the first half of the year, up 43% and 52% year on year respectively, with the comprehensive loaded container ratio hitting 98%. Customs figures showed that China's imports and exports with Belt and Road countries registered 209.78 billion yuan in terms of railway transport in the first half of the year, up 43.1% year on year, which was 15.3 percentage points higher than the growth by water transport, 13 percentage points higher than that by land transport, and 21.3 percentage points higher than that by air.

Fifth, China's central and western regions have stepped up efforts to build the Belt and Road, registering a rapid increase in trade with Belt and Road countries. In the first half of the year, the trade of China's central and western regions with Belt and Road countries reached 1.02 trillion yuan, rising by 30.3% and accounting for 19% of the country's total imports and exports with them during the same period. The growth saw an increase of 0.4 percentage point compared with the figure for the first half of last year. Among them, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Chongqing Municipality, Yunnan, Anhui and Hubei provinces all recorded a foreign trade growth of more than 30% with Belt and Road countries.

Beginning this year, the GACC has faithfully implemented the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping's major addresses and fully promoted the pilot cooperation on “smart customs, smart borders, and smart connectivity.” The GACC and the Belgian Customs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct the first demonstration project in Europe. The GACC has given great support to the development of China-Europe freight trains. China and Belarus entered into the protocol on the Partnership Program of Customs-Railway Operators for Promoting the Safety and Rapid Customs Clearance of China Railway Express (PPCR) at the end of June, part of the efforts to further promote the PPCR. Next, the GACC will continue to implement the Action Plan of the Customs for Promoting the High-Quality Development of the Belt and Road during the 14th Five-Year Plan Period (2021-2025) and build more demonstrative projects for the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative to achieve high-quality development of the Belt and Road. Thanks. 

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Bloomberg:

You spoke earlier about the disruptions in Yantian Port. Can you give us an actual figure about how much trade was disrupted or how many exports didn't happen because the port was shut for the whole of June. Secondly, there is been an increasing number of outbreaks of COVID-19, especially due to the Delta variant globally, do you expect this to further disrupt trade in the second half of this year? Thank you. 

Li Kuiwen:

I have answered the questions about the impact of COVID-19 on Yantian Port and introduced suitable measures that the customs office has taken. As for how the prevention and control measures in Yantian Port will influence the transportation market, related departments have given information. As for your second question about the impact of COVID-19 on foreign trade, as I mentioned before, uncertainties remain surrounding the global pandemic in the second half of this year, which may affect China's foreign trade. Overall, however, we expect relatively rapid growth of China's foreign trade in the second half of this year. Thanks. 

Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

According to the GACC's latest regulations, the pilot program to boost cross-border e-commerce business-to-business (B2B) exports has been rolled out across the country since July 1. My question is how the pilot program went on over the past year, and what measures will be taken to promote the development of e-commerce? Thanks. 

Li Kuiwen:

Thanks for your questions. First, I would like to release the latest data regarding cross-border e-commerce. According to preliminary data from the GACC, in the first half of this year, China's cross-border e-commerce imports and exports maintained the momentum of sound development and reached 886.7 billion yuan, up 28.6% year on year. The exports grew by 44.1% to 603.6 billion yuan and imports expanded by 4.6% to 283.1 billion yuan. 

On the basis of summarizing the practice and consolidating the progress achieved from the previous works, the GACC recently issued an announcement (No.47 [2021]) to faithfully implement the guidelines of the national teleconference on issues including deepening reforms to streamline administrative approval, delegate power to lower levels, and improve regulations and services; to further promote the healthy and orderly development of cross-border e-commerce; and to better support the enterprises to expand the international market. Since July 1, the experience of pilot projects in cross-border e-commerce B2B export supervision has been replicated and promoted in customs offices across the country. Since July 1 of last year, the GACC has conducted pilot reforms on cross-border e-commerce B2B export supervision for a whole year, making remarkable achievements which are demonstrated in the following four aspects. First, the pilot program improved clearance services for companies. Second, the pilot program developed new ways for the supervision on exports to overseas warehouses in cross-border e-commerce. Third, the pilot program actively expanded logistics channels. Fourth, the pilot program enhanced regulation and prevented risks. Implementing of the pilot program will boost the development of e-commerce in the next stage, which is also helpful for companies to reduce costs and increase efficiency and expand the international market. It is also conducive to a more balanced development of cross-border e-commerce among different regions. Thanks. 

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National Business Daily:

What measures has the GACC taken to promote the development of foreign trade this year? What results have been achieved so far? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your questions. Since the beginning of this year, the GACC, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, has conscientiously implemented the guiding principles of the Central Economic Work Conference and plans of the Report on the Work of the Government, focusing on high-level opening-up, continued optimization of port business environment, streamlining of customs clearance procedures, and support of the development of new trade forms in order to further improve customs clearance facilitation and earnestly serve the high-quality development of foreign trade. We have focused on the following tasks:

First, we have continued to optimize the business environment at ports. We concentrated on special campaigns to promote cross-border trade facilitation, and carried out a four-month special campaign in eight cities across six provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. We jointly launched 18 reform and innovation measures with relevant departments, focusing on the concerns of main market players and undertaking benchmarking against internationally advanced levels. We worked with relevant departments to study and draft measures to further deepen cross-border trade facilitation reforms and optimize business environment at ports. The measures have been submitted for examination and will be implemented upon approval in accordance with relevant procedures. We have continued to implement the action plan for cleaning up and regulating maritime port charges and guide local governments to earnestly implement the publication of port charges list. We made in-depth changes to the "single window" system in international trade, realizing connection and data sharing with the systems of 25 departments. We launched 18 types of basic service functions and provided more than 700 service items, basically covering the entire field of port law enforcement.

Second, we have further simplified customs clearance process. We closely followed high-quality development to promote the integrated reform of all customs operations; actively promoted coordinated management of the operations of various customs; strengthened the coordination and interaction of departments with frequent contact with other agencies; and improved the level of system integration. We simplified customs procedures such as filing, approval, declaration and inspection; and comprehensively promoted facilitation measures such as "two-step declaration," "advance declaration," "green channel," "exemption of on-site inspection,” and "appointment for inspection, priority inspection,” in order to improve the efficiency of customs clearance. We vigorously promoted reform works such as the supervision of conglomerates' processing trade and on the destruction, disposal and other practices related to processing trade's defective products; and continuously optimized supervision model to promote the stable development of processing trade. We set up a WeChat platform for credit management, established a "problem clearing" mechanism, and took the initiative to solve problems for import and export enterprises.

Third, we have vigorously supported the development of new trade forms. We solidly promoted the construction of cross-border e-commerce pilot projects and optimized the supervision process for the return of imported cross-border e-commerce retail goods, fully replicating and promoting the "cross-border e-commerce return center warehouse" model. We also carried out special rectification actions against inbound cross-border e-commerce smuggling to break criminal chains and thoroughly solve the problem, thus promoting the healthy development of cross-border e-commerce. At the same time, we actively promoted the healthy development of market procurement trade trials, and guided the customs in charge of these trials to strengthen their publicity, improve customs supervision process, and cooperate with the competent local authorities to start market procurement exports as early as possible. 

Fourth, we have actively facilitated the building of a high-level opening-up platform. We vigorously supported the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port and promoted the implementation of the "zero tariff" policy system. Centering on the implementation of national strategies such as the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, we actively guided the customs of pilot free trade zones to carry out integrated innovation and collaborative innovation. We promoted the innovation and upgrading of comprehensive bonded zones and supported the establishment of four new comprehensive bonded zones in Yangling in Shaanxi province, Xiangyang in Hubei province, Wanzhou in Chongqing municipality, and Haikou Airport in Hainan province. We actively supported major expos such as the China International Import Expo (CIIE), China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), and China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), and made every effort to do customs clearance, supervision, service and guarantee works for inbound and outbound exhibits.

While promoting the steady growth of foreign trade, customs did not relax its efforts in routine port epidemic prevention and control. We have persisted in preventing people and goods carrying viruses from entering the country and resolutely built a port shield against possible imported cases. Thank you.

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Jiemian:

Just now you talked about the export of private enterprises and cross-border e-commerce businesses. I would like to ask what portion was taken by private enterprises in the cross-border e-commerce sector? I would also like to know the growth rate of CNY-denominated export in June alone. Also how does the GACC view the change in the new export order index in May and June? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your questions. We have just provided the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) statistics. As shown by the latest economic data we have been following, the economy is now strengthening and improving steadily. As for the fluctuations, we have been monitoring them and analyzing their impact on foreign trade. 

Regarding the latest data on cross-border e-commerce, I have just now given the H1 data. Thank you.

Phoenix TV:

I would like to ask about China's export of COVID-19 vaccines. What measures have the customs departments taken to ensure their speedy clearance? Thank you.

Li Kuiwen:

Thank you for your question. China has always adhered to the vision of a global community of health for all and actively participated in COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access). In the face of massive domestic demand and a tight supply, we have done our best to provide vaccines to other countries, contributing to global equitable distribution and use of vaccines and global cooperation against the pandemic and winning praises from the international community.

The GACC has rolled out an array of measures to ensure the speedy clearance of COVID-19 vaccines this year. We actively contacted COVID-19 vaccine export enterprises to explain export procedures and provide full-chain guidance. We also sped up clearance of urgently-needed major production equipment to help expand vaccine production capacity. Meanwhile, we contacted export enterprises to help them address practical difficulties and needs in a timely manner. We built a whole-process tracking platform as part of our efforts to shorten the clearance time. Currently, the time for health and quarantine approval has been shortened from 20 working days to two hours for exported vaccines, and the clearance time has been reduced to less than three hours. While ensuring the safe and speedy clearance of vaccines, the GACC has also taken multiple measures to crack down on illegal exit of COVID-19 vaccines. According to statistics, in the first half of this year, China provided over 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates to 121 countries and international organizations, accounting for one-sixth of the current global COVID-19 vaccine production and making important contributions to international cooperation against COVID-19 and economic recovery. Thank you.

Shou Xiaoli:

Today's press conference is hereby concluded. Thank you, Mr. Li and friends from the media. See you next time.

Translated and edited by Wang Yiming, Wang Qian, Lin Liyao, Li Huiru, Duan Yaying, Wang Zhiyong, Zhang Tingting, Wang Wei, Cui Can, Huang Shan, Zhang Rui, Chen Xia, Qin Qi, Yuan Fang, Jay Birbeck, and Tom Arnstein. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/3    Shou Xiaoli

/3    Li Kuiwen

/3    Group photo

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