MINISTRY OF COMMERCE
PEOPLE鈥橲 REPUBLIC OF CHINA


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Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of Commerce (December 15, 2016)
  

MOFCOM held a press conference on December 15. Spokesman Sun Jiwen released the business operation in January-November and that in November. Here are the records.

I. Market Performance

China鈥檚 consumption market in November maintained a momentum of steady rise. The retail sales of national social consumer goods in November amounted to RMB3.1 trillion, up 10.8% year on year, hitting a new high of the year. The retail sales of national social consumer goods in January-November increased 10.4%, with 0.1 percentage point higher than that in the previous ten months. The retail sales of 5,000 retail enterprises monitored by MOFCOM grew up 4.9% year on year, with 0.3 percentage point higher than that of the previous month, rising for four months in a row.

The characteristics of consumption markets in November are listed as below:

1.Sales of online commodity increased. In January-November, the sales of online commodity rose by 25.7%, 0.4 percentage point higher than that of the previous ten months, taking up 12.5% of that of the national social consumer goods, rising 0.8 percentage point than that in January-October. According to the monitoring by MOFCOM, in November, the sales of online commodity grew up 25.6% year on year, with 0.3 percentage point higher than that of last month, 23.5, 18.8 and 18.5 percentage points higher than those of stores, supermarkets and shopping mall respectively.

Sales of automobiles speeded up. According to the statistics by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the sales volume of national passenger cars in November amounted to 2.59 million, up 10.5% month on month, and up 17.2% year on year. Among these, that of SUV amounted to 1.019 million, taking up 39.3% of that of passenger cars, with 1.1 percentage points higher than that of last month. According to National Bureau of Statistics, the sales of automobiles of enterprises above the designated size in November grew up 13.1% year on year, 4.4 percentage points higher than that of last month and 4.1 percentage points higher than that over the same period of last year. The sales of travel products have pulled the total sales of social consumer products with 1.6 percentage points, 0.6 percentage points higher over the same period of last year.

3. Sales of home appliance and communication equipment rose. Major manufacturers of home appliance promoted their products through e-commerce platforms while guiding consumers to interact with them in stores by channels of APP, We Chat Official Account and official online stores to provide good experience and jointly promote sales both online and offline. In November, sales of home appliance and communication equipment of enterprises above the designated size grew up 14.7% and 17.8% respectively year on year, with 6.8 and 6.1 percentage points higher than those in the previous months respectively.

4. Growth of farm products expanded. According to the monitoring by MOFCOM, the price index of national farm products in November grew up 1.7% month on month, up 3.7% year on year, 1.8 percentage points higher than that of last month, rising for three months in a row. The accumulative growth in January-November was 4.5%, equal to that in January-October, with 4.1 percentage points higher over the same period of last year. Since winter came, greenhouse vegetables have been the main source of vegetables. Moreover, affected by cold wave weather across the country, cost of production, storage and transport all increased, fresh vegetables saw seasonable rise. The average wholesale price of 30 kinds of vegetable monitored was RMB 4.45 per kilo, up 9.6% month on month, and up 17.4% year on year.

II. Trade in Service

In January-October, the imports and exports of trade in service reached RMB 4.2915 trillion, up 16% year on year. Among these, China鈥檚 service export was RMB1.4625 trillion, with an increase of 3.6% year on year and the service import was RMB2.829 trillion, with an increase of 23.7% year on year. Major features are as follows:

1. The scale of import and export was expanded continuously and the proportion was improved. In January-October, China鈥檚 service import and export grew up 16% year on year. The proportion of service trade in the foreign trade was continuously improved. In January-October, this proportion reached 18%, 2.6 percentage points higher than that in 2015.

2. Export of high value added service accelerated. Exports of high value-added services grew rapidly, among which technical service, maintenance and repair service and advertising service stood out with a value of RMB61.6 billion, RMB27.7 billion and RMB25.5 billion respectively, up 14%, 67.5% and 63.4% respectively year on year.

3. The growth of service imports was fast. China鈥檚 imports of service amounted to RMB2.829 trillion and the growth rate was 23.7%. Among these, travel imports led by tourism and study overseas reached RMB1.8619 trillion, up 30.6% year on year and was the main factor to lead the growth of service imports.

III. Foreign Investment in China

China鈥檚 input of foreign investment in January-November has the following characteristics:

1. The national overall absorption of FDI was stable. In January-November, a total of 24,355 newly-established foreign-invested enterprises were approved, going up 3.0% year on year. The actually utilized FDI amounted to RMB731.8 billion (US$113.79 billion), up 3.9% year on year ( with data of bank, insurance and security excluded).

2.The absorption of FDI in service sector maintained a growth and that in hi-tech service stood out. In January-November, the actually utilized FDI in service sector was RMB513.3 billion, up 8% year on year. Among them, those in computer application service sector, distribution service sector, and information and consulting service sector grew up 123%, 51.2% and 71.9% respectively year on year. The actually utilized FDI in high-tech service sector amounted to RMB88.14 billion, up 97.7% year on year.

The actually utilized FDI in pharmaceutical industry and general equipment manufacturing industry grew up 65.3% and 16.6% year on year respectively. That in hi-tech manufacturing was RMB54.73 billion, up 3.6% year on year.

The actually utilized FDI in agriculture, forestry, husbandry and fishery amounted to RMB11.6 billion, up 32.9% year on year.

3.The investment from US and EU maintained a robust momentum of increase. In January-November, the actual input of the investment from US and EU grew up 55.4% and 43.9% respectively year on year. Among 28 EU 28 EU countries including UK, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden stood out with a growth of 120.2%, 87.2%, 128.8% and 48.1% respectively year on year. Among those from Asian region, the actual input from Macao and ROK grew up 295.6% and 23.6% respectively year on year.

4. The absorption of foreign FDI in western China continued to grow and that in eastern China remaintained steady. In January-November, the actually utilized FDI in western China and eastern China amounted to RMB 53.45 billion and RMB637.97 billion respectively, going up 23.7% and 6% respectively year on year.

5.The actual use of foreign capital by foreign M&A continued to increase. In January-November, a total of 1,099 newly-established foreign-invested enterprises were approved with an actual use of foreign capital RMB 123.5 billion, up 15.6% year on year, taking up 4.5% and 16.9% respectively of their total figures.

IV. Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation

In January-November 2016, China鈥檚 outward investment cooperation maintained a rapid development situation. China鈥檚 domestic investors conducted non-financial direct investment in more than 7,500 overseas enterprises in 164 countries and regions in the world with an accumulative investment value of RMB1.06963 trillion, equivalent to US$161.7 billion, with an increase of 55.3%. The newly-signed contract value of contractual foreign projects was RMB1.27317 trillion, equivalent to US$192.47 billion, with an increase of 18.1%. The completed turnover was RMB874.62 billion, equivalent to US$132.22 billion, with an increase of 1.6%. At the end of November, the number China鈥檚 outward laborers reached more than 990,000. In January-November, China鈥檚 outward investment cooperation mainly showed the following features:

1. Outward investment cooperation continued to increase rapidly. In November, China鈥檚 foreign direct investment reached US$15.74 billion, with an increase of 76.5%. The newly-signed contract value reached US$26.95 billion, with an increase of 91%.

2. The field of investment and merger and acquisition was extensive. According to preliminary statistics, in January-November, Chinese overseas merger and acquisition projects numbered 561, with a transaction amount of US$82.4 billion (including overseas financing), involving almost all industries of national economy. Among these, manufacturing industry ranked the first by almost US$23-billion merger and acquisition amount.

3. Local enterprises鈥foreign direct investment accounted for almost 90%. In January-November, the non-financial foreign direct investment of local enterprises reached US$141.84 billion, 2.1 times over that at the same period last year, accounting for 87.7% of the total value of foreign direct investment in the same period. Shanghai, Guangdong and Beijing are on the top of the list of the local outward investment.

4. The outward investment of information transmission / software and information technology service industry, and manufacturing industry enjoyed rapid development. In January-November, outward investment mainly flew to the following fields: business service industry, US$40.33 billion, with an increase of 8.1%, accounting for 24.9% of the total investment; manufacturing industry, US$29.73 billion, with an increase of 151.9%, accounting for 18.4%, equipment manufacturing industry US$16.76 billion, 2.8 times over the number in the same period last year, accounting for 56.4% of the outward investment of manufacturing industry; wholesale and Retail Sale Trade industry, US$26.31 billion, with an increase of 95.8%, accounting for 16.3%; information transmission, software and information technology service industry, US$19.23 billion, with an increase of 249.9%, accounting for 11.9%.

5. The business of contractual project in the relevant countries of the 鈥淏elt and Road鈥has enjoyed rapid development. In January-November, the newly-signed contractual foreign projects in the relevant countries of the 鈥淏elt and Road鈥by Chinese enterprises reached 7,367, with a contractual amount of US$100.36 billion and an increase of 40.1% year on year, accounting for 52.1% of the newly-signed contractual value of China鈥檚 contractual foreign projects in the same period. The completed turnover was US$61.63 billion, with an increase of 7.5% year on year, accounting for 46.6% of the total amount in the same period.

V. Relevant Situation of the Ministry of Commerce Being Going to Issue the Coordinated Development Plan of Commerce and Trade Logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei and The 13th Five-Year Plan of Development of Residents鈥Living Service Industry with Relevant Departments in the Near Future

Ministry of Commerce will issue the Coordinated Development Plan of Commerce and Trade Logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei and the 13th Five-Year Plan of Development of Residents鈥Living Service Industry with relevant departments in the near future. I will briefly introduce the relevant situation of these two plans.

Firstly, I will introduce the Coordinated Development Plan of Commerce and Trade Logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. In order to implement and carry out the deployment of the coordinated development strategies of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, orderly disperse Beijing鈥檚 non-capital functions and promote the integral improvement of the function level of commerce and trade logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the Ministry of Commerce organized and compiled the Coordinated Development Plan of Commerce and Trade Logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with relevant departments on the basis of profoundly studying, demonstrating and extensive suggestion soliciting.

The Plan insists on the development concepts of innovation, coordination, greening, openness and common sharing, deeply embodies the spirits of the Coordinated Development Layout Plan of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. It focuses on three big development goals: optimizing the commerce and trade logistics layout of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, improving the development level of commerce and trade logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, and strengthening the safety guarantee ability of commerce and trade logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. In the meantime, it proposes eight major tasks such as improving the regional logistics network, building cold chain logistics service system, optimizing e-commerce logistics nodes layout, promoting the integrative development of industry and logistics, pushing forward the application of standards of commerce and trade logistics, supporting the application of wisdom logistics technologies, promoting the green development of commerce and trade logistics and improving the safety assurance ability of commerce and trade.

The Plan mainly has the following features. First, take dispersing the regional commerce and trade logistics function of capital as the core, promote the construction of three major projects such as the improvement of dispersing commerce and trade logistics function, the transference and undertaking of commerce and trade logistics project and the establishment of the industrial belt of commerce and trade. Second, promote the commerce and trade logistics of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, realize comprehensive coordinated development in aspects such as the layout of infrastructure, the docking of technical standard, and the cooperation of organization operation and information service connection. Third, promote to form a development pattern of commerce and trade logistics, take commerce and trade logistics industry condition and model innovation of Beijing as guidance, take the international and professional logistics of Tianjin as support and take intensified and environmental logistics base of Hebei as guarantee.

Next, I will introduce The 13th Five-Year Plan of Development of Residents鈥Living Service Industry.

Residents鈥living service industry such as catering, accommodation and housekeeping is closely linked with people鈥檚 living. In recent years, the Ministry of Commerce, together with relevant departments, has vigorously promoted the rapid development of residents鈥living industry, playing an important role in stabilizing growth, adjusting structure, benefiting people鈥檚 livelihood and promoting employment while constantly improving the service qualify for the great majority of the people. At the same time, we see that some existing problems such as insufficient amounts, non-excellent structure, low quality and overburden are waiting to be solved. In order to promote the continuous sound development of the residents鈥living service industry, to promote better and more service for the people, the Ministry of Commerce compiles The 13th Five-Year Plan of Development of Residents鈥Living Service Industry on the basis of deep researching and extensive suggestion soliciting.

The Plan focuses on three goals such as strengthening service capability, expanding the main market players and optimizing development environment. It defines six major tasks, namely, comprehensively improving supply capacity by taking structural reform of supply-side as the key, improving organizational degree guided by brief and intensive administration, improving innovation capability through informatization, improving service quality through the goal of standardization, expanding service space under the guidance of internationalization and improving development strength guaranteed by optimizing environment. At the same time, the Plan proposes many supporting measures, including implementing the act of reducing poverty by improving housekeeping capability, the project of promoting rural service consumption, the development and action plan of transformation of residents鈥living service industry and building comprehensive living service center of community.

The full text of these two Plans will be published on the website of the Ministry of Commerce.

VI. Media to Pay Attention to China鈥檚 Investment in Africa since This Year

According to the prediction of African Development Bank, in 2016 the economy of Africa has increased 1.8%, marking the lowest number for almost 20 years. However, the overall economic situation of Africa doesn鈥檛 impede China鈥檚 rapid development step of investing in Africa. According to the statistics of the MOFCOM, in January-October, the non-financial direct investment flow of Chinese enterprises to Africa increased 31% greatly and the amount exceeded US$2.5 billion. Under the current complex and changing international economic situation, this performance is valuable, because it not only embodies firm confidence of Chinese enterprises in African market, but also indicates China鈥檚 strong risk-handling capability and development resilience in investment cooperation with Africa.

Under the guidance of the initiative of China-Africa Ten Cooperation Plans proposed by President Xi Jinping at the Johannesburg Summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum in 2015, the investment of Chinese enterprises in Africa mainly showed three features. Firstly, the non-financial direct investment flow to countries such as Kenya and Uganda has fast economic growth increase by more than 100% year on year. Secondly, the first-stage construction of the expansion area of the trade and economic cooperation area of Egypt and Suez has been officially started and there have been more than 10 famous international enterprises expressing the interests of investing and staring business in the park. The platform role and leverage effects of trade and economic cooperation zones such as industrial parks and zones have further come out. Thirdly, the proportion of manufacturing industry exceeded 10%.

Next, Chinese government will continue to take the China-Africa 鈥淭en Cooperation Plans鈥as the key, continue to unswervingly promote trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa, encourage and support strong and reputable Chinese enterprise to invest and start business in Africa as always, and constantly improve policy and information service. Meanwhile, we hope that Africa can provide favorable investment and business environment for Chinese enterprises.

VII. About the Negotiation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

On December 2-10, the 16th round of RCEP negotiation was held in Tangerang, Indonesia. The parties had in-depth discussions on the market admittance in 3 core fields including goods, service and investment, and continued to push ahead the text consultation in the fields of intellectual property, competition, e-commerce and articles and law. The parties concluded negotiations of small and medium sized enterprises successfully, which was a positive progress again after the negotiation in economic technology. This will promote the small and medium sized enterprises of the members to enjoy information sharing and cooperation, and bolster small and medium sized enterprises to better benefit from the achievements of the negotiation.

The parties decided that the 17th round of negotiation will be held on February 7-Marth 3, 2017 in Kobe, Japan. China is willing to, on the basis of fully respecting the core status of ASEAN, make joint efforts with all the parties, so as to conclude the negotiation as soon as possible and reach reciprocal and win-win agreements early. At the same time, China has always been a positive impeller and participants of Asian-Pacific economic integration and economic globalization. China is open and inclusive to all the Free Trade Agreements within the region that conform to WTO rules.

VIII. About the 5th Meeting of China-Thailand Joint Commission on Trade, Investment, and Economic cooperation

On December 9, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak co-chaired the 5th Meeting of China-Thailand Joint Commission on Trade, Investment, and Economic cooperation. The two parties agreed to further strengthen cooperation on 鈥淏elt and Road鈥construction and connect the economic development plans of the two countries. The two parties also exchanged views on further expanding bilateral trade and investment, and cooperation in infrastructure, scientific and technological innovation, information communication, tourism, financial, local cooperation and regional economic integration. The two parties reached wide consensuses and realized the expected goals.

Both China and Thailand agreed that, against the background that the current world economy witnessed a growing downward pressure and uncertainties increased, China and Thailand should further strengthen connections of economic development strategies and plans, so as to help the two countries鈥the economic transformation and upgrading to realize common development. The two parties signed the Protocol for the Delay of the Five-Year Development Plan of China-Thailand Economic and Trade Cooperation and for the Formulation of Joint Action Plan., They also specified and confirmed the moves, major fields and bilateral economic and trade cooperation which will work as the specific measures in the docking of strategic plans.

At the same time, bilateral cooperation has gained practical achievements. In terms of trade, the two parties reiterated that the two countries will make joint efforts and strive to realize the goals that the bilateral trade volume would reach US$ 120 billion in 2020. In terms of railway cooperation, the two parties signed memorandum of understanding for railway cooperation and further confirmed the cooperation consensus. In terms of quality inspection, China signed with Thailand the China-Thailand Cooperation Arrangements on Technology Cooperation of Electronic Certificate of Agricultural Products, providing technological guarantee to promote port clearance efficiency, safeguarding quality and safety of agricultural products and food of the two parties. In terms of scientific and technological innovation and finance, the two parties will jointly promote personnel communication in the field of scientific and technological innovation, and deepen cooperation in the application fields of space technology and satellite technology. They will strengthen the cooperation under the bilateral currency swap agreements, encouraging the enterprises of the two countries to settle trade in domestic currencies. In terms of information technology and digital economy, the two parties reached initial consensus that governmental counterpart departments will conduct special cooperation. Thailand highly appreciates and looks forward to conducting comprehensive cooperation with China Mobile Communications and internet enterprises. In terms of tourism, the two parties will make joint efforts to reach the goal that the two-way personnel exchanges would reach 10 million in 2017. In terms of local cooperation, the two parties will further encourage local governments, associations of chambers to make full use of the present cooperation mechanism to carry out wide and multi-level exchanges and cooperation. In terms of economic integration cooperation, the two parties will further strengthen coordination cooperation under the frame work of regional and multilateral economic cooperation like China-ASEAN FTA, Mekong Sub-Region, RCEP negotiation, APEC and WTO.

(All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only. )

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