2017 trade figures
The annual figures for last year are described in the article below.
The trade deficit is narrowing fast, although the USA does not feel its trade deficit with China is narrowing fast enough.
Some think China could have an overall trade deficit within three to four years. If the use of the RMB in foreign trade continues to rise that trade deficit would increase the reach of the RMB.
The figures reflect a long term trend of trade moving from the G7 countries to the developing countries. That trend is likely to be reinforced by the New Silk Road – BRI – project. Some say that BRI is now a global project. Macron, visiting China, talked of the need for BRI to be a two way project for the EU to engage fully. That is doable if the world situation allows for it.
It will be interesting to see how the USA, UK and Germany deal with reciprocal market opening up. This is a key aspect of one world two systems cooperating to achieve sustainable economic development. That would be an achievement of a community of a shared future.
In the nearer term it might be that China’s trade with the developing world grows faster than with G7.
This second article from People’s Daily reinforces the impression that China’s long term trade trend is towards the developing countries, through BRI.
What does this mean for British business? That China, with 6-7pc growth, will continue to be the world’s largest developing market because of the size that its 6.9pc growth is building on.
That long term business will also contain significant scope for cooperation in, and with, developing countries. This has been talked about for a long time but the UK is still to make major moves into BRI with China. this should change with Brexit, or, without Brexit, as, and if, the EU steps up developing transnational trade and investment with China.
Africa, and other parts of the world, present significant opportunities for UK companies to cooperate with Chinese companies in third countries. The 48 Group is very experienced in this work and can help members understand and develop the new configuration of China’s trade.