Containers await shipping at a port in Xiamen, Fujian province. [Photo by Wang Xieyun/China Daily]
East China's Fujian province saw its foreign trade reach 479.25 billion yuan ($69.22 billion) in the first quarter, up 10.1 percent year-on-year, according to Fuzhou Customs.
During the period, the province's exports and imports climbed 9.6 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively, year-on-year to 287.46 billion yuan and 191.79 billion yuan.
The growth rates of the province's foreign trade, exports and imports were 5.3, 1.2 and 10.6 percentage points higher than the national average during the same period.
Focusing on promoting the stability, scale and structure of foreign trade, Fujian's foreign trade has shown strong economic resilience and vitality, and its imports and exports have shown a momentum of steady and robust growth.
The role of private enterprises as the main engine of foreign trade has become more prominent in Fujian. In the first quarter, the imports and exports of private enterprises in Fujian increased 21.2 percent year-on-year to 284.11 billion yuan, and accounted for 59.3 percent of the province's total foreign trade during the period and posted an increase of 5.4 percentage points year-on-year.
The province's trade with its major trading partners such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union and Australia has also grown rapidly.
The volume of trade between the province and ASEAN, its largest trading partner, amounted to 110.2 billion yuan during the first three months, up 24.3 percent year-on-year.
Its trade with the European Union rose 9.2 percent to 58.6 billion yuan; with Australia, surged 53.8 percent to 29.46 billion yuan; with countries along the Belt and Road increased 25.2 percent to 194.57 billion yuan and with its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade partners reached 174.63 billion yuan, up 20.7 percent year-on-year.
The province's exports of mechanical and electrical products and labor-intensive products also increased significantly. In the first quarter, Fujian's exports of mechanical and electrical products climbed 29.3 percent year-on-year to 126.11 billion yuan, and accounted for 43.9 percent of its total foreign trade during the period.
Furthermore, Fujian's imports of bulk commodities and agricultural products showed steady growth. In the first quarter, the province imported crude oil, iron ore and coal worth 26.79 billion yuan, 24.34 billion yuan and 19 billion yuan, respectively, a year-on-year increase of 61.1 percent, 39.3 percent and 188.5 percent. During the same period, its imports of agricultural products rose 13.9 percent to 28.15 billion yuan.
This year is the second year since the RCEP was implemented and a new round of tariff reduction arrangements have also been implemented, which have injected new momentum into the development of foreign trade. In the first quarter, Fuzhou Customs issued 1,486 RCEP certificates of origin for export goods and the import goods released under RCEP amounted to 420 million yuan.