国新办&CGTN 2023-02-14 44次
Friends fro the media, good afternoon. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, we have invited Ms. Guo Tingting, vice minister of commerce, to brief you on China's commerce work and development in 2022 and take your questions. We also have with us Mr. Yang Tao, director general of the Comprehensive Department of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); Mr. Xu Xingfeng,director general of the Department of Market Operation and Consumption Promotion of MOFCOM; Mr. Li Xingqian, director general of the Department of Foreign Trade of MOFCOM; and Ms. Meng Huating, an official at the Department of Foreign Investment Administration of MOFCOM.
Now, I'll give the floor to Ms. Guo for a brief introduction.
Thank you. Friends from the media, good afternoon. Welcome to today's press conference. As we move beyond the recent seven-day holiday, I would like to extend my belated happy Chinese New Year wishes. I also want to express my deep gratitude for your continued interest in and support for our commerce work. Now, I would like to provide a brief overview of our business operations in 2022.
In 2022, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, MOFCOM steadfastly carried out the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. It effectively addressed the impact of unforeseen factors, balanced epidemic control and business development, and effectively implemented a range of policies and follow-up measures to stabilize the economy. The overall business operations made steady progress throughout the year, positively impacting the stability of the overall economic and social landscape. To be specific:
The consumer market was generally stable. China's retail sales of consumer goods in 2022 hit 44 trillion yuan, basically unchanged from 2021. The trend of new consumption is positive. Online retail sales of physical goods grew by 6.2%, further increasing their share of total social retail sales to 27.2%. Physical retail sales continued to grow, with a 1% increase in retail sales of goods from physical stores above designated size. The market for consumer goods is expanding and customer experience is improving. The demand for upgraded products surged, leading to a 93.4% increase in sales of new energy vehicles.
Foreign trade exceeded expectations. Despite the challenges faced last year, efforts were made across departments and regions to effectively address them. As a result, China's foreign trade hit a new record high with a total of 42.1 trillion yuan, a 7.7% increase year on year, exceeding the 40-trillion-yuan mark. Trade with major partners continued to grow. Imports and exports to the top three trading partners, ASEAN, the European Union and the United States, increased by 15%, 5.6% and 3.7%, respectively. The trade structure has also been optimized. Foreign trade by private firms jumped 12.9% to account for over 50% of the total. The export of labor-intensive products and electromechanical products increased by 8.9% and 7%, respectively. In particular, the export of new energy vehicles and other products has grown rapidly, and the new competitive advantage is rapidly taking shape. Trade in services also grew steadily, reaching 5.98 trillion yuan, a 12.9% increase, with travel and knowledge-intensive services increasing by 8.4% and 7.8%, respectively.
The use of foreign capital continued to grow. China's actual use of foreign capital hit 1.2 trillion yuan in 2022, up 6.3% year-on-year on a comparable basis, once again proving China's continued appeal as a popular destination for foreign investment. The quality of foreign investment continued to improve, with a 46.1% increase in manufacturing investment, accounting for 26.3% of the total, an increase of 7.8 percentage points over 2021. Investment in high-tech industries increased by 28.3%, accounting for 36.1%, with an increase of 7.1 percentage points over the previous year. Investments from major sources of foreign capital continued to grow. Investments from Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom increased by 52.9%, 64.2% and 40.7%, respectively, and investments from Hong Kong increased by 1.7%. Pacesetters in opening-up have exhibited a positive influence by setting an example. The 21 free trade pilot zones attracted foreign investment amounting to 22.252 billion yuan, representing 18.1% of the national total. Additionally, the 230 national economic development zones attracted foreign investment totaling 259.64 billion yuan, accounting for 21.1% of the national share.
Foreign investment grew steadily. China's non-financial outbound direct investment rose 7.2% to 785.94 billion yuan. Among this, investment in countries along the Belt and Road increased by 7.7%, accounting for 17.9%. In terms of industries, investment in the manufacturing sector increased by 22.4%, accounting for 18.5%; investment in the wholesale and retail industry and construction industry increased by 24.6% and 19.8%, respectively; investment cooperation in green, digital and other fields have become new growth drivers. Foreign contracted projects developed steadily, with a turnover of 1 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.3%; and the number of newly signed projects with a contract value of more than $50 million increased by 59 compared with 2021.
Significant progress was made in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Head-of-state diplomacy deepened economic and trade ties. Last year, we promoted the G20 and APEC to achieve positive results in the economic and trade field, and successfully held the BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting and Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States Ministers Responsible for Foreign Economic and Foreign Trade. We promoted a package agreement reached at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and advanced the substantive conclusion of investment facilitation negotiations. China officially launched negotiations for its accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. The joint feasibility study for building the "version 3.0" China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was completed and negotiations began. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement came into effect and was implemented with high quality. 30.8% of China's total foreign trade was with other RCEP members.
This year marks the first year of fully implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. MOFCOM will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, and steadfastly carry out the directives from the Central Economic Work Conference. In line with the requirements of the State Council executive meeting, based on our key roles in promoting domestic circulation, dual circulation and fostering a new development pattern, we will focus on restoring and expanding consumption, promoting stable growth, optimizing the structure of foreign trade, and making greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment. We will also advance high-level openness and boost market confidence, drive high-quality business development, provide crucial support for stabilizing economic growth, employment and prices, and make positive contributions for comprehensively building a modern socialist country.
Next, my colleagues and I will take your questions. Thank you.
Thank you. The floor is now open to questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before asking your questions.
In 2022, China's foreign trade withstood the impact of multiple unexpected factors, and the total value of imports and exports exceeded 40 trillion yuan for the first time. What were the highlights of China's foreign trade growth in 2022? Facing a potential international landscape that may include shrinking overseas demand, what measures will MOFCOM take in 2023 to stabilize foreign trade? Thank you.
Thank you for your attention to foreign trade. China's foreign trade experienced an extremely challenging year in 2022. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and thanks to the cooperation between MOFCOM and various localities and departments, foreign trade enterprises rose to challenges and foreign trade performed exceptionally after withstanding various risks and tests. It also successfully achieved the goal of sustaining stability and improving quality. Overall, our foreign trade's outstanding performance in 2022 can be summed up in three respects: reaching a new height, unleashing new impetus and making new contributions.
Regarding the new height, China's import and export volume in 2022 hit a record high again at 42 trillion yuan, passing the 40-trillion-yuan mark. In U.S. dollar terms, the volume reached $6.3 trillion, which is an unprecedented increase from the ultra-large base reached in 2021. We have remained the largest trader of goods for six consecutive years. While the volume registered sound growth, the structure also continuously improved. The share of imports and exports of private enterprises increased, and their export share rose by 3.2 percentage points to 60.8%. Multilateral and bilateral economic and trade cooperation also made positive progress. Exports to RCEP trading partners grew by 17.5% year on year, 7 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate. The proportion of imports and exports to Belt and Road partner countries reached 32.9%, up by 3.2 percentage points from 2021.
Regarding the new impetus, China's high-tech, high-value-added products contributing to the green transformation, such as electric vehicles, photovoltaic products and lithium batteries, have become a new growth driver of exports. In 2022, exports of electric vehicles increased by 131.8%, photovoltaic products by 67.8%, and lithium batteries by 86.7%. At the same time, new foreign trade forms, such as cross-border e-commerce and market procurement trade, also boomed, with the import and export volume exceeding 3 trillion yuan and accounting for more than 7% of foreign trade.
Regarding the new contributions, domestically, foreign trade made an important contribution to promoting overall economic recovery. Net exports of goods and services contributed to 17.1% of GDP growth last year, driving GDP growth by half a percentage point. There were 598,000 foreign trade enterprises with robust import and export performance last year, an increase of 31,000 compared with 2021, effectively promoting employment stability in the country. Internationally, amid the turbulent global economic and trade environment, China took effective measures to stabilize production and exports, ensuring the smooth operation of the global industrial and supply chains. Meanwhile, we actively expanded imports. China's import volume reached $2.7 trillion last year, making it a key contributor to global economic and trade development.
At present, foreign trade development is facing an extremely severe environment, as the risk of a global economic recession is rising, the growth of external demand is slowing down significantly, and the international supply chain is restructuring at a faster pace. In 2023, we will make greater efforts to maintain volume stability and optimize structural aspects of foreign trade and stabilize the supporting role of exports in the national economy. We prioritize respecting and stimulating the creativity of trade entities. On Dec. 30, 2022, the Foreign Trade Law was amended, which abolished the requirement for certain filing and registration procedures for foreign trade operators. This actually grants all market entities the right to conduct foreign trade, which is a major reform of China's foreign trade management.
To promote high-level opening up, it is important to make foreign trade easier, more convenient, and more rewarding. Therefore, in the new year, we must carefully serve the main body of foreign trade enterprises, optimize and introduce new trade policies, help enterprises reduce costs, increase efficiency and solve problems, and continue to improve the overall competitiveness of foreign trade. Our focus is on implementing the following four measures. The first is to strengthen trade promotion. We will closely connect suppliers and purchasers to stabilize exports and fully resume offline events of a series of domestic export fairs such as the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair). At the same time, we will fully support foreign trade enterprises participating in various overseas professional expos to create more trade opportunities. The second is to expand imports reasonably. We will closely cooperate with our trading partners, leverage the advantages of our super-large market, and expand the imports of high-quality products from other countries so as to stabilize the global trade supply chain. The third is to deepen trade innovation. We will promote the continuous, rapid and healthy development of new business forms, including cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses. The fourth is to stabilize the industrial base of foreign trade. We will continue to optimize the industrial structure of foreign trade and, while strengthening general trade, support the gradual relocation of processing trade to the central, western and northeastern regions for upgrading and development. Thank you!
Over the past year, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council have released a series of policies and measures to stabilize the economy. Consumption plays a fundamental role in sustaining economic growth. What are the measures the Ministry of Commerce has taken to promote consumption? What are the highlights? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. As you mentioned, last year, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council promptly issued a series of policies and measures to stabilize the economy, among which promoting consumption was a major part of our work. The Ministry of Commerce fully implemented the decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. First, we adopted detailed policies and concrete measures to recover and expand consumption actively. Ms. Guo just briefed us about the progress made in consumption. We have stabilized the consumption sector. Over the past year, we have focused on the following aspects:
First, we encouraged spending on major consumption. We usually call vehicles, home appliances, catering and housewares the four pillars of the consumption sector. Together they account for about a quarter of the total retail sales of consumer goods. Regarding vehicles, we worked with related departments and issued policies to stimulate auto circulation and expand spending on vehicles. As you may recall, a press conference was held to introduce such policies. These policies were efficient, covering 12 items in six aspects, and achieved substantial progress. In the second half of 2022, the sales of vehicles stopped falling and rebounded, registering a negative growth of 6.6% in the first half of the year and a positive growth of 10.7% in the second half of the year with the support of such policies. The proportion of new energy vehicles (NEVs) to new car sales increased from one-eighth in 2021 to one-fourth in 2022, meaning that one out of every four vehicles was a NEV, rising from one in eight vehicles previously. In addition, we worked with relevant departments to promote the sales of green and smart home appliances and green building materials in rural areas. In terms of catering, targeted support policies have been introduced to encourage the recovery and development of catering consumption.
Second, we accelerated the development of new types of consumption. Targeted measures have been taken to promote e-commerce, green consumption, and winter sports-related consumption, advance the integration of online and offline consumption, and create new opportunities in the consumption sector. Online retail sales of physical goods climbed 6.2% year on year, 2.7 percentage points higher than in 2021. Online consumption is particularly striking in live-streamed e-commerce, where the number of live broadcasts, viewers, live-streamed products, and active hosts all multiplied compared to 2021.
Third, we upgraded the platforms and carriers of the consumption sector. The carriers refer to cities and rural areas. In terms of cities, we accelerated the development of international consumption center cities, held the first forum on international consumption center cities, and promoted the first 14 items of practices in four aspects. We focused on the role of 15-minute community life circles in cities, while leveraging the role of platforms such as smart stores and smart business districts. In other words, our efforts covered cities, sub-districts and business districts. At the same time, we carried out a three-year action plan to develop county-level commercial systems, improve county-level consumption channels, and steadily increase the proportion of retail sales of consumer goods at the township and county level to the total social retail sales throughout the year.
Fourth, we held various consumption promotion activities. While ensuring epidemic prevention and control measures, we successfully held a series of major exhibitions and fairs, including the China International Import Expo, the China International Consumer Products Expo, and the China International Fair for Trade in Services. By hosting such fairs, we were able to increase the supply of quality goods and services. In addition, we also organized a series of activities, including the International Consumption Season, a nationwide month-long pro-consumption campaign, an online Lunar New Year's Shopping Festival, the Brand and Quality Online Shopping Festival , the Home Appliances Consumption Season, and the Chinese Food Festival, to attract consumers. We guided local governments to carry out consumption promotion activities in line with local conditions. The central and local governments worked together, and ministries, associations and local governments held various activities to boost consumption.
Fifth, we ensured the consumption of necessities. As we all know, pandemic outbreaks emerged in different places in the past year, such as Shaanxi, Jilin, Shanghai, Hainan, Tibet and Xinjiang. We firmly implemented the decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Putting people and their lives first, we established a cross-regional mechanism to ensure the supply of daily necessities and increased support for organizing and transporting goods. A response mechanism was built into the market to promptly follow up on any shortages of daily necessities. We released 10 batches of over 140,000 tons of central meat reserves into the market, effectively ensuring people's consumption needs in key regions and periods of time.
With these measures, the consumption market has been effectively stabilized. The market continued to show healthy momentum during the Spring Festival period. According to our monitoring, the sales revenue of key retail and catering enterprises increased by 6.8% compared to the same period last year. In 2023, we will continue to fully implement the decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, strive to overcome possible difficulties and challenges, and promote economic recovery and consumption through practical actions.
As China's vanguard of reform and opening-up, how was the construction of pilot free trade zones (FTZs) in 2022? What results have been achieved? For the next step, what are the considerations of MOFCOM in constructing PFTZs in 2023? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. I will briefly answer them. The construction of pilot FTZs is a crucial strategic measure taken by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to deepen reform and opening-up in the new era. In 2022, all pilot FTZs across the country made further advancements by forging ahead and exploring bravely. Those achievements were mainly demonstrated in the following aspects.
First, we have promoted high-quality opening-up. All pilot FTZs have implemented a slew of measures to deepen opening-up in the field of investment and trade in a bid to give full play to the leading role of opening up. They have made positive contributions to the development of foreign trade and investment. Since the new negative lists for foreign investment market access for pilot FTZs took effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the amount of items in the manufacturing sector on the negative list for pilot FTZs has dropped to zero, and the service sector has constantly deepened opening up. In 2022, the actual use of foreign capital in the 21 pilot FTZs totaled 222.52 billion yuan, accounting for 18.1% of the country's total. Among those, the actual use of foreign capital in high-tech industries reached 86.34 billion yuan, up 53.2% year on year. At the same time, local governments have taken innovative measures to further enhance trade liberalization and facilitation. Guangxi, Yunnan and Heilongjiang have explored new models to facilitate frontier trade among inhabitants of border regions. Shaanxi has pioneered the "customs declaration before packing" mode to clear cross-border e-commerce bulk cargo, shortening the customs clearance time by two to three days. In 2022, the total import and export volume of the 21 pilot FTZs reached 7.5 trillion yuan, up 14.5% year on year, accounting for 17.8% of the country's total.
Second, we have deepened reform and innovation. Pilot FTZs have strived to improve governance capacity through institutional innovation, to further optimize the business environment. In 2022, MOFCOM and relevant departments issued 56 documents to support the development of pilot FTZs, empowering those pilot FTZs to conduct more reform tasks on a trial basis. As of the end of 2022, all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government have delegated more than 5,400 items of provincial-level administrative authority to pilot FTZs, significantly streamlining the approval process. Shandong, Guangxi and other places have even innovated and rolled out negative lists for delegating power.
Third, we have boosted high-quality development. Pilot FTZs have actively explored ways to remove institutional barriers that hinder the accumulation of innovative resources and factors at home and abroad. This has accelerated the development of new industries, business forms and models. Several competitive industrial clusters have already taken shape. For example, the Xiyong bonded area in Chongqing has formed a hundred-billion-yuan intelligent terminal industry cluster with an annual output of more than 100 million units. The bonded area of Wuhan in Hubei province has made extensive efforts to develop the optoelectronic information industry, gathering more than 16,000 related enterprises.
Fourth, we have supported major national strategies. Pilot FTZs have vigorously promoted cross-regional collaborative innovation. In 2022, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan and Shaanxi jointly built the Yellow River Basin Pilot Free Trade Zone Alliance with five other provincial-level regions along the Yellow River. Together with the previously established joint conference mechanism of the pilot FTZs in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei and Yangtze River Delta Pilot Free Trade Zone Alliance, they have given full play to the influence and driving role of the new highland of reform and opening-up, injecting new impetus into serving and promoting the implementation of major national strategies, especially major regional strategies.
The 20th National Congress of the CPC proposed implementing a strategy to upgrade pilot FTZs. In 2023, we will earnestly fulfill the functions of the State Council's Inter-ministerial Joint Meeting for the Work of Pilot Free Trade Zones in accordance with the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. First, we will actively align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, intensify stress tests in pilot FTZs and free trade ports, and steadily advance opening up with institutional guarantees in the areas of management, standards, rules, and norms, to accumulate experience and explore ways to deepen domestic reform in relevant fields. Second, we will support pilot FTZs to conduct in-depth differentiated exploration and promote open and innovative development of the whole industrial chain in key areas such as integrated circuits, biomedicine, and high-end equipment manufacturing. Third, we will replicate and promote more and better institutional innovation achievements to further unleash the dividends of reform and opening-up. Thank you.
Following last month's announcement that four Chinese coal importers have been granted permission to resume import of Australian coal, does China plan to lift restrictions on a broader range of Australian exports, such as cotton, rock lobster, wine and barley, soon? And if not, then why not? Could you also confirm whether the Chinese and Australian ministers of commerce will meet next week? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. As we all know, enterprises remain the mainstay of Chinese-Australian trade. Companies of the two countries independently make business decisions based on demand and market conditions. China has taken inspection, quarantine and trade remedy measures strictly in accordance with the laws and regulations of China and WTO rules. It is obviously inappropriate to misinterpret them as restrictive measures.
Recently, the leaders of China and Australia held a meeting in Bali, Indonesia, charting the course for improving bilateral relations. China is ready to work with Australia to implement the important consensus reached by the two countries' leaders, expand cooperation, manage differences and push forward bilateral economic and trade cooperation based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit. Under a mutual agreement between the two countries, the minister of MOFCOM, Wang Wentao will meet his counterpart, Don Farrell, via video conference next week. The two sides will discuss China-Australia economic and trade relations and economic and trade issues of common concern. Thank you.
Hainan has become a popular tourist spot during the first Spring Festival since the outbreak of the epidemic three years ago. What has been done by the Ministry of Commerce to support the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port over the last year? What upcoming measures will be taken to build Hainan into the world's most open free trade port? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. The construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port has drawn wide attention. More than two years have passed since the Overall Plan for the Construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port was released. Over the past years, its construction has made smooth progress and the overall development has advanced swiftly but steadily and in an effective and orderly manner. In 2022, the Ministry of Commerce has focused on promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, giving priority to the critical task of launching an island-wide independent customs operation and fully supporting the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port. Our work mainly includes the following three aspects:
First, working with relevant departments, we have adopted a series of supporting policies and measures to accelerate the development of the Yangpu Economic Development Zone. We have issued documents such as opinions on promoting the high development of foreign culture trade, continuously improved the system of policies concerning trade and investment and advanced the implementation of relevant policies.
Second, together with Hainan province, we have successfully hosted the second China International Consumer Products Expo, with a large increase in the number of exhibitors, including enterprises and brands, buyer attendance, and professional attendees from the first expo.
Third, we have released the "Report on the Development of Trade and Investment of the Hainan Free Trade Port," fully demonstrating the achievements in trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the Ministry of Commerce, together with relevant departments and Hainan province, have worked to achieve positive results in the development of trade and investment in the Hainan Free Trade Port. Last year, utilized foreign investment reached 24.44 billion yuan, up 7.1% year on year. The total trade volume in goods surpassed 200 billion yuan, an increase of 36.8% over the previous year. The open economy has maintained strong momentum for development. During the Spring Festival this year, there was strong demand and sufficient supply in Hainan's consumer market and its culture, tourism and catering sector boomed. All of this demonstrated the vitality of the Hainan Free Trade Port.
Next, the Ministry of Commerce will fully implement the arrangement of "accelerating the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port" put forward in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress. Under the coordination and guidance of the leading group on deepening overall reform and opening-up of Hainan province, we will prepare for independent customs operation and conduct pressure tests. At the same time, we will implement relevant policies in the areas of trade and investment, study and formulate the list of goods prohibited and limited from importation and exportation of the Hainan Free Trade Port and host the third China International Consumer Products Expo to promote the development of an open economy in Hainan province and support the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port in constantly making new breakthroughs. Thank you!
What are the plans and considerations of the Ministry of Commerce concerning the work to promote consumption this year? Besides, automobiles are one of the major contributors to consumption, and recently many regions have issued documents to boost the consumption of automobiles. What specific measures is the Ministry of Commerce taking to expand automobile consumption? Thank you.
First, thank you for your attention to the work on consumption. It was put forward in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress that we should strengthen the fundamental role of consumption in driving economic growth. According to the Central Economic Work Conference, we should prioritize economic recovery and boost consumption. On Jan. 28, the executive meeting of the State Council came up with clear requirements for the work on consumption. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have consistently attached great importance to consumption. The Ministry of Commerce will fully implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and maintain the momentum of consumption demonstrated during the Spring Festival. As mentioned earlier, sales of major retail and catering enterprises in China during the Spring Festival increased by 6.8% over the previous year. At present, we will enhance our work's overall coordination and planning by grounding our efforts in the first quarter and setting our sights for the whole year. Our work will mainly focus on three aspects.
First, we will continue to strengthen the guiding role of policies. We will supervise and inspect the implementation of the policies that have been issued to ensure that these policies are fully implemented. In addition, based on the new situation this year, we will focus on key areas such as automobiles and homes. We will launch a batch of new policies to give full play to the role of policies.
Second, we will plan major events to unleash market vitality. We have designated this year as the "2023 consumption promotion year," and with a focus on that, we will launch events to promote consumption nationwide. At a press conference on Jan. 19, we briefed you on our plan to organize events for consumption promotion nationwide. With the joint actions of provinces and cities, interactions among regions, and cooperation of relevant associations, we will support businesses and boost market dynamism to promote a series of consumption booms.
Third, we will keep optimizing platforms and carriers to make more progress. Just now, I have talked about cities and the countryside. In urban areas, we will advance the development of international consumption center cities, enhance the supporting role of smart shops and smart business districts, further develop 15-minute radius community life circles to bring more convenience for people, and increase quality supplies through multiple channels. Surely, county-level commerce development is still one of our priorities. Our work generally involves the above three aspects. As a result, we will maintain the momentum established during the Spring Festival and deliver a satisfactory performance regarding consumption work in 2023.
The second question was about automobiles. Automobiles, together with the other three consumer goods categories, account for about a quarter of the total retail sales of consumer goods. Automobile sales account for 10% of the total retail sales of consumer goods. If you buy an automobile, you will consume gasoline. Therefore, sales of automobiles and gasoline together represent nearly 15% of the total retail sales of consumer goods. Therefore, automobiles deserve to be considered the top of the four major consumer goods. In 2022, 26.864 million new vehicles were sold in China, up 2.1% year on year, ranking first in the world for 14 consecutive years. Sales of new energy vehicles were most impressive, with a nearly one-fold increase in domestic sales and a growth rate of 93.4%. Penetration rates of new-energy vehicles reached 25%, accomplishing the national plan's goal three years ahead of schedule. What was the goal of the national plan? According to the development plan for the new energy vehicle industry issued in 2020, by 2025, new energy vehicles would account for 20% of the total sales of new vehicles. However, the proportion has already reached 25.6%, fulfilling the goal three years ahead of schedule.
As the number one of the four major consumption sectors, automobile sales receive consistent policy support. After MOFCOM issued relevant policies together with 16 other departments, we released information to the public in time. There are three key points to keep in mind. The first point is our easing of restrictions on used car relocation nationwide on Aug. 1, 2022, ensuring the free circulation of all second-hand cars that meet National-V standards. The second point is that on Oct. 1, 2022, the process of reverse invoicing began. Usually, a seller issues an invoice to a buyer, but for used cars, enterprises, as second-hand car buyers, can now issue invoices to individual sellers. The third point is that new measures came into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, to change second-hand car agencies into second-hand car dealers. At the end of last year, more than 40,000 second-hand car dealers were registered, up by 180% on a yearly basis. This demonstrates that our policies have delivered notable results.
Next, we will continue to work with relevant departments to stabilize and expand auto sales. We will roll out multiple measures that cover the whole industrial chain and focus on clear priorities. Our efforts will be focused on the following four areas:
First, we will stabilize new car sales. The country has issued a document to promote the transformation from the administration of purchase to the administration of use, as a limitation on car purchases still exists in some regions. In addition, we will carry out various promotional events to stabilize new car sales growth.
Second, we will support the consumption of NEVs. Just now, I said that good progress was made in NEV sales, which conforms with our goal to achieve carbon peak and neutrality targets. We will guide local authorities to further improve the NEV user experience, from license plate registration to charging and traffic, so that people will have no worries. Imagine the unpleasant experience of taking a long-distance trip and failing to find any charging piles. Therefore, our next step is to improve NEV users' environment.
Third, we will continue to expand the circulation of second-hand cars. The construction and improvement of a nationwide second-hand car information inquiry platform will be accelerated, and the Measures for the Administration of the Circulation of Second-hand Automobiles will be revised. As a result, information about cars will be released more transparently. We aim to create a worry-free atmosphere for second-hand car consumers so that they feel like new car buyers. If the second-hand car you bought had been soaked, burned, or undergone major repairs, and you didn't know about it before purchasing, that would certainly affect your consumption experience. Therefore, we must adhere to our aim and dedicate ourselves to achieving it. Expanding the circulation of second-hand cars will invigorate our vast auto market, with the total number of cars reaching 319 million, and promote sequential consumption in this sector.
Fourth, we will streamline the process of scrapping and trading-in automobiles. As previously mentioned, vehicles have a lifespan. Both brand-new and used cars have limited lifespans and must eventually be scrapped and disassembled. We will revise regulations on scrapping motor vehicles and improve the recycling system. Furthermore, we will encourage regions with suitable conditions to exchange old cars for new ones, thus promoting the circular consumption of cars.
By creating policy incentives and implementing specific measures, we will maintain a sound environment for auto sales to leverage their role in driving consumption. Thank you.
China News Service:
In 2022, China's utilized foreign investment expanded by 6.3% year on year, hitting an all-time high. How does MOFCOM view the country's overall performance in attracting foreign investment last year? What do you expect the situation to be this year? Thank you.
Thank you for your attention to our work involving foreign investment in China. In 2022, China's attraction to foreign investment was affected by multiple negative factors, such as the spread of COVID-19, slowing global growth, and surging investment protectionism. MOFCOM has resolutely implemented the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. It has also worked with other departments and local governments to make solid progress in attracting foreign investment. The volume of foreign investment in China has increased, and its composition and quality have been improved. We have therefore made an active contribution to maintaining stable macroeconomic performance. Throughout the year, China's attraction to foreign investment has shown five features:
First, the scale of foreign investment reached a new record high. On the basis of double-digit growth in 2021, foreign investment continued to maintain stable growth in 2022, and the actual use of foreign investment exceeded 1.2 trillion yuan for the first time as calculated in RMB, with a year-on-year increase of 6.3%, according to comparable standards. If calculated in US dollars, the utilized foreign investment reached $189.13 billion, an increase of 8%, and the scale of investment attraction remained at the forefront of the world.
Second, foreign investment into the manufacturing industry increased significantly. The industry's actual use of foreign capital was 323.7 billion yuan, up 46.1% year on year. In particular, thanks to the lifting of market access restrictions on foreign investment, foreign investment in the automobile manufacturing industry increased by 263.8%. In addition, the attracted investment in computer and communication manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing increased by 67.3% and 57.9%, respectively.
Third, the high-tech industry became an important source of growth. The industry utilized 444.95 billion yuan of foreign investment, up 28.3%, driving the further improvement of the quality of foreign investment. Among them, the investment in the high-tech manufacturing industry and high-tech service industry increased by 49.6% and 21.9%, respectively. In addition to computer and communication manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing mentioned just now, foreign investment in the services for applying scientific and technological achievements, and services for R&D and design also achieved rapid growth, with the growth rate reaching 35% and 26.4% respectively.
Fourth, investments from major sources increased generally. South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan increased their investments by 64.2%, 52.9%, 40.7%, and 16.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, from a regional perspective, investments in China by the EU, countries along the Belt and Road, and ASEAN increased by 92.2%, 17.2%, and 8.2%, respectively.
Fifth, China's eastern, central, and western regions attracted more investment in full force. The actual use of foreign capital in the eastern, central, and western regions increased by 4.7%, 21.9%, and 14.1%, respectively. Among the eastern provinces, Jiangsu province attracted foreign investment of nearly 200 billion yuan; Guangdong province, Shanghai municipality, Shandong province, Zhejiang province, and Beijing municipality each attracted more than 100 billion yuan. Among the central and western provinces, foreign investment in Shanxi, Henan, Guangxi, Hunan, and Shaanxi increased by 229.6%, 119.8%, 49.1%, 41.3%, and 33.6%, respectively. It should be noted that the potential for attracting foreign investment in the central and western regions has been further unleashed.
At present, the situation faced by China in attracting foreign investment is still very complex and severe. World economic growth is sluggish, and various adverse factors are still brewing. A report published by the UNCTAD last month pointed out that global transnational investment will face huge downward pressure in 2023. But at the same time, we are aware that the fundamentals sustaining China's steady and long-term economic growth remain unchanged, and the comprehensive advantage composed of a super-large-scale market, a complete industrial system, rich human resources, and a continuously optimized business environment are being constantly strengthened to attract investment. The majority of foreign investors still have a strong desire to invest in China. We are confident that we will continue to achieve new great results in attracting foreign investment in 2023, promote the "quantity" growth and "quality" improvement of foreign investment, and better help to foster a new development pattern and promote high-quality development. Thank you!
At the end of December, MOFCOM announced a "request for comments" on looking to restrict the export of manufacturing technology for solar cells, amongst other things. Can you provide more details about this effort? And can you also explain how this is different from the US's looking to restrict exports of technology to manufacturers of semiconductors? Thank you.
First of all, thank you for your questions. There is a deviation in your understanding of the restrictions on the export of solar cell production technology. Recently, in accordance with the Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China and the Regulations on the Administration of Technology Import and Export of the People's Republic of China, MOFCOM and the Ministry of Science and Technology revised the catalog of technologies that are subject to export bans or restrictions and publicly solicited opinions. Currently, we are sorting out the opinions and suggestions we have collected and will carefully study them along with relevant departments. Next, we will continue to uphold open cooperation, constantly optimize the business environment of technology trade, and promote global technology trade exchanges and cooperation. Thank you.
Red Star News:
Over the past year since the RCEP agreement entered into force, dividends have started to emerge, and all parties have paid close attention to this. What achievements have been made since the RCEP agreement entered into force in 2022? Thank you.
Thank you for your question. Let me take this question. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, also known as the RCEP agreement, entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022. MOFCOM firmly implements the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Together with relevant departments, we have applied and fulfilled the rules and market access commitments of RCEP and promptly issued the guiding opinions on the high-quality implementation of the RCEP to guide and support local governments, industries, and enterprises to seize opportunities and expand trade and investment cooperation with RCEP members. Positive results have been achieved, which are mainly reflected in:
First, the agreement played a powerful role in the development of trade and investment. From the perspective of trade, the total import and export between China and other RCEP members reached 12.95 trillion yuan in 2022, up 7.5% year-on-year, accounting for 30.8% of China's total foreign trade. In particular, China's import and export with eight of the members grew by double digits. From the perspective of two-way investment, in 2022, China's non-financial direct investment in other RCEP members was $17.96 billion, up 18.9%, while China attracted their direct investment of $23.53 billion, up 23.1%. The growth rate of two-way investments was higher than the overall level.
Second, local governments have achieved initial progress in aligning policies with the RCEP agreement. MOFCOM offered them comprehensive guidance and support in this regard. We organized 10 training sessions nationwide along 10 themes, with a total attendance of more than 400,000. We upgraded the free-trade zone public services platform, helping local governments and enterprises make full use of tariff reductions and cumulative rules of origin under the RCEP, seize the opportunities for trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and deepen cooperation on industrial and supply chains with other participating countries. Some local governments have taken the active implementation of RCEP encouraging obligations as leverage to optimize the business environment. They have worked to build high-level open cooperation demonstration zones for RCEP and attract industries, capital, and talent, thus significantly improving the local trade and investment climate.
Third, enterprises enjoyed tangible benefits of the agreement. The implementation of the RCEP agreement, combined with previous bilateral free trade agreements that China signed with other participating countries, has delivered more benefits to enterprises. In 2022, Chinese export companies applied for a total of 673,000 RCEP certificates of origin and declarations of origin worth 235.3 billion yuan, with an estimated 1.58 billion yuan in tariff reductions from importing countries. Chinese companies benefited from an estimated 1.55 billion yuan in tariff reductions for the import of products worth 65.3 billion yuan.
Fourth, participating countries worked together to enhance the outcomes of the agreement. China actively promoted the ratification of the agreement by more countries through mechanisms such as RCEP ministerial meetings and joint committees. South Korea, Malaysia, and Indonesia, among other countries, have already rectified and implemented the agreement. At the same time, we closely cooperated with other RCEP members to promote the implementation of tax reduction obligations and facilitation measures, optimize the regional business environment, and enhance the outcomes of the agreement.
In the next step, MOFCOM will continue to ensure high-quality implementation of RCEP, advance the continuous release of its dividends, and give full play to the positive role of RCEP in ensuring stable performance in foreign trade and investment, promoting cooperation on industrial and supply chains, and driving high-quality development. At the same time, we will work with other RCEP members to promote the full and effective implementation of the agreement for all signatory countries, strengthen mechanism development, and provide a strong guarantee for the steady and sustained progress of RCEP. Thanks!
The Poster News APP:
Under the current situation, what favorable factors does China have in attracting foreign investment? What specific measures will be taken to maintain the current level of foreign investment, expand its quantity, and improve its quality? Thanks!
Thank you for your questions. As was introduced just now, under the joint efforts of all parties, we have achieved remarkable progress in attracting foreign investment in 2022, which laid a good foundation for relevant work in 2023. There are still many favorable factors for China to attract foreign capital. They can be summarized as the following four aspects:
First, the outlook for China's economic growth is promising. The fundamentals of the Chinese economy — its strong resilience, enormous potential, great vitality, and long-term sustainability — remain unchanged. The 20th CPC National Congress made a strategic deployment for China's economic development both in the immediate future and for some time to come, and the Central Economic Work Conference put forward clear requirements for promoting the overall improvement of economic performance this year. All localities and departments are actively devising measures to implement the deployment and requirements so as to achieve the goal of "ensuring steady growth and keeping employment and prices stable." Recently, a number of international organizations have raised their forecasts for China's economic growth this year. Economic growth means investment opportunities. Recent surveys by relevant institutions showed that most foreign-funded enterprises are very confident in China's economic outlook this year. Investors' confidence is our greatest strength in work.
Second, the Chinese market is becoming a stronger magnet for foreign capital. According to statistics from MOFCOM, more than 90% of foreign-funded enterprises in China are mainly targeting the Chinese market. With a population of more than 1.4 billion, China is the second-largest consumer market in the world. New forms and models of consumption continue to emerge, further unlocking the market potential. The Central Economic Work Conference required that the country prioritize the recovery and expansion of consumption this year. The market size will be further expanded, and foreign investors will have more motivation to invest in China.
Third, the synergy building through various policies is more evident. Since last year, MOFCOM, together with relevant parties, has issued the new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment and introduced a series of special policies to promote investment in manufacturing and encourage the development of foreign-invested R&D centers. This year, we will vigorously promote the implementation of these policies and introduce another batch of policies and measures according to the deployment of the central leadership. The synergy of existing and new policies will bring more sense of gain to foreign-funded enterprises.
Fourth, cross-border exchanges are more convenient. In the past three years, the pandemic impeded the cross-border flow of people and logistics, which was the most prominent problem encountered by foreign investors. Now, as China has entered a new phase of COVID-19 response, cross-border exchanges are becoming normalized. As you may have noticed, many local governments have recently organized activities overseas to attract foreign investment. It is believed that more foreign-funded projects will be implemented in China this year.
These are some favorable factors for attracting foreign capital. Now, I will briefly introduce our specific measures in 2023.
The 20th CPC National Congress and the Central Economic Work Conference made a series of important arrangements for promoting high-standard opening-up and making greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment. In the next step, we will resolutely implement the deployment of the central leadership and make every effort to deliver a satisfactory performance.
In terms of boosting newly-added foreign investment, we will work to cut the negative list for foreign investment in a reasonable manner and further expand opening-up in the modern service sector. Based on major economic and trading expos and various investment promotion mechanisms, we will support all localities to attract investment by combining the strategies of "going global" and "bringing in" and see that more iconic foreign investment projects are implemented.
In terms of stabilizing existing foreign investment, we will continue to leverage the role of the special task force for key foreign-funded projects under the foreign trade and investment coordination mechanism. We will strengthen regular communication with foreign-invested enterprises and foreign chambers and associations of commerce, help solve difficulties facing enterprises, and ensure national treatment for all foreign-invested enterprises. We will also improve the interdepartmental coordination mechanism of all levels for solving complaints from these enterprises and protect their rights and interests in accordance with the law so as to ensure the sound operation and development of existing foreign-invested enterprises.
In terms of improving the quality of foreign investment, we will work to communicate and implement a series of related policies and encourage localities and related government bodies to roll out detailed supporting measures. We will proactively guide more overseas investment towards sectors such as advanced manufacturing, modern services, energy conservation and environmental protection, and sci-tech innovation and toward the central, western, and northeastern regions. We will keep scaling up the efforts to attract investment in high-tech industries and continuously improve the quality and standard in attracting foreign investment.
Regarding the "going global" strategy mentioned earlier, since the second half of last year, many local foreign trade enterprises have been taking overseas group trips to boost business orders, which fostered a strong atmosphere of expanding the market. What efforts will MOFCOM make this year to boost trade? What kind of assistance or guidance will MOFCOM provide to foreign trade enterprises? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. In the fourth quarter of last year, MOFCOM and another five government departments rolled out policy measures to ensure unimpeded channels for foreign trade enterprises to boost business orders. All localities have proactively supported these enterprises to take overseas group trips, participate in expos, visit clients, and seek business opportunities. As a result, the foreign trade sector has sprung to life. Foreign trade businesses have their own features, and an in-person meeting often works better than thousands of emails. Our foreign trade enterprises are looking forward to taking their samples and designs to the global market and bringing in business orders and clients.
In 2023, the global economic and trading situation has grown extremely challenging, and the downward pressure mounted markedly. The major problem facing China's foreign trade has turned from impeded supply chains and insufficient order delivery capacity last year to weak global demand and a drop in the number of orders this year. This is a crucial change. MOFCOM has specified that strengthening the enabling role of trade and building closer connections between supply and purchasing will be put high on the agenda. It will also ramp up efforts to support our foreign trade enterprises to boost business orders and expand the market. Specifically, we will work on the following four aspects concerning foreign trade enterprises.
First, in-person expos will be resumed. We will carry out the decisions made by the State Council executive meeting on Jan. 28 and work to fully resume in-person trade fairs and expos domestically. We will ensure the success of a series of well-known events such as the China International Import Expo, the Canton Fair, and the China Hi-tech Fair.
Second, new business forms will be better explored. We will promote the further growth of new business forms that have seen rapid development in recent years, such as cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouse. We will also give full play to digital measures to unlock trade potential and boost exports from micro, small, and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises.
Third, we will tap new demand. MOFCOM will give full play to the role of the economic and commercial offices of Chinese embassies and consulates overseas and assist local governments in organizing enterprises to carry out trade cooperation abroad. We need to strengthen research on international market segmentation, share supply and demand information in various markets in a timely manner, and help companies obtain foreign trade orders in time.
Fourth, we will support enterprises to "go global." MOFCOM will provide more convenience for foreign trade enterprises to carry out cross-border business exchanges, encourage enterprises to promote Chinese products, Chinese manufacturing, and Chinese brands in various ways, and support qualified local governments to expand their overseas exhibitions. Thank you!
Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:
What new progress and achievements have been made in terms of Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation in 2022? How will it advance this year? Thank you.
Thank you for your questions. Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was put forward more than nine years ago, MOFCOM has conscientiously implemented the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and continuously deepened the economic and trade cooperation along the Belt and Road, which has effectively promoted mutual benefit and win-win cooperation with the partner countries, and provided important support for the high-quality development of the BRI. During the previous year, thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, the Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation has taken new steps, and the results are mainly reflected in the following four aspects:
First, trade and investment grew rapidly. In 2022, China's trade with countries along the Belt and Road hit a record high, with the volume of trade in goods reaching 13.8 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.4% and 11.7 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate. The two-way investment between China and Belt and Road countries also reached a new level, covering multiple industries. Among them, the non-financial direct investment in the countries along the Belt and Road was 141.05 billion yuan, and the actual investment in China by the countries along the Belt and Road was 89.15 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 7.7% and 17.2%, respectively, which are 0.5 percentage point and 10.9 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate, respectively.
Second, project construction achieved solid and effective results. In 2022, China's newly signed contracted projects in countries along the Belt and Road were valued at 871.84 billion yuan, with a turnover of 571.31 billion yuan, accounting for 51.2% and 54.8% of its total contracted projects there, respectively. Steady progress was made in the construction and operation of key projects such as the China-Laos railway and the Hungary-Serbia railway, and a number of "small but beautiful" livelihood projects involving agriculture, medical care, and poverty reduction were implemented one after another. Overseas economic and trade cooperation zones were upgraded. By the end of 2022, the cooperation zones built by Chinese companies in countries along the Belt and Road had seen an investment of 397.9 billion yuan in total, creating 421,000 local jobs. More than 16,000 trips were operated by China-Europe Railway Express throughout the year, a year-on-year increase of 9%. The construction of new land-sea transit routes opened a new chapter. A China-Singapore cooperation plan on jointly building the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor was implemented. These high-quality cooperation projects have effectively promoted the economic and social development of the host countries and brought a real sense of fulfillment to the local people.
Third, cooperation has been continuously expanded. Cooperation in the fields of new energy, energy conservation, environmental protection, and new infrastructure construction boomed. In 2022, China signed 31 memorandums of investment and cooperation involving green development, the digital economy, and the blue economy with relevant countries, creating more development opportunities for Belt and Road cooperation. The Silk Road e-commerce circle of friends continues to expand and the number of our partner countries that have established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms has increased to 29. In addition, special e-commerce activities such as online shopping festivals featuring quality African products and "Buy at BRICS" online promotion events have become new highlights of the cooperation.
Fourth, mechanisms and platforms have been well improved. We actively leveraged the role of multilateral and bilateral economic and trade mechanisms, deepened communication and alignment, and established 12 new cooperation mechanisms for trade, investment, and trade in services with relevant countries. Key cooperation such as the "nine programs" of China-Africa cooperation and the demonstration zones jointly built with ASEAN countries for economic innovative development was advanced in an orderly manner. China-ASEAN Expo, China-Eurasia Expo, China-Central Asia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, China-Latin America Infrastructure Cooperation Forum , and other exhibition forums were successfully held.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. MOFCOM will thoroughly implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions and guiding principles on Belt and Road cooperation, implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council in a solid way, deepen unimpeded trade, tap new potentials of investment and cooperation, improve quality and efficiency, and make new contributions to high-quality development of the BRI! Thank you!
Thank you to Ms. Guo, our speakers, and also to all the friends from the media. That's all for today's press conference.
Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved Mother, the late Queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.
网络整理 2023-03-20 08:13:12
国新办&CGTN 2023-03-20 08:04:08
国新办&CGTN 2023-03-20 07:40:31
Good morning, everyone. Before I leave for California, I want to briefly speak about what’s happening to Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
网络整理 2023-03-15 09:25:00