13th March 2024 : China’s Foreign Trade Data

This episode contains segments on:

  • China’s foreign trade data in January and February;
  • Visa-free travel trial to more European countries;
  • Producer price index and consumer price index in February.

Also, listeners are invited to attend the launch of the Chamber’s latest publication, dedicated to the topic of risk management at both the political and corporate level, in Beijing on 20th March.


We’d love to hear your feedback. Contact us at website@europeanchamber.com.cn.

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Read more:

China foreign trade data, January-February


China extends visa-free policy trial to six more European countries


China PPI and CPI, February


European Chamber report launch: Navigating the Politics of Economic Security



RUI: Hello and welcome to China ShortCuts,

MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup on China’s business landscape.


RUI: China’s foreign trade in goods surged at an unexpected rate in the first two months of the year. As the value of exports grew over twice as fast as the value of imports, the country’s trade surplus rose over 125 billion US dollars. The General Administration of Customs announces the data from January and February combined each year to avoid potential distortions stemming from the moving date of the Chinese New Year holiday.

MARIANN: The data released on 7th March showed that in US dollar denominated terms, China’s exports rose 7.1 per cent year-on-year. This increase was in part driven by a strong uptick in demand for Chinese goods in Latin-America, Africa, and some South-East Asian countries. The value of China’s imports, meanwhile, increased 3.5 per cent from a year ago. The European Union remained China’s second largest trade partner overall, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ranking first. Notably, in terms of import value, the EU ranked third after ASEAN and Latin-America. Moreover, the value of China’s exports to the EU was more than twice the value of its imports from the bloc.

The European Chamber has been advocating for more demand-side policy support in China. This could help boost domestic consumption and offset the impact of supply-side policies, which have been a contributor to the significant trade imbalances the country has accumulated with both the EU and with the United States. The Chamber has emphasised that if left unaddressed, the growing trade imbalances would likely result in action being taken by overseas governments.


RUI: On 7th March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China will expand its visa-free policy trial to six more European countries.

MARIANN: Starting from 14th March, ordinary passport holders from Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland will be able to enter and stay in China for 15 consecutive days without a visa. The trial period will last until 30th November. This follows the announcement last November that citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain would be permitted to travel to China visa-free on a year-long trial basis. European businesses see it as positive that the authorities are taking steps to facilitate people-to-people exchanges. The European Chamber hopes that the policy will be extended to all EU member states.


RUI: The year-on-year fall in China’s producer prices continued for the seventeenth month in a row in February. Consumer prices edged up slightly compared to a year ago, breaking a downward trend that lasted for four consecutive months.

MARIANN: In its statement the National Bureau of Statistics attributed the continued fall in producer prices to the impact of the Chinese New Year holiday, saying that this time of year is traditionally an off-season for industrial production. While still modest, the rise in consumer prices was the fastest recorded in eleven months. This was in large part due to an increase in prices of food and travel-related services, as demand surged because of the holiday.


RUI: The European Union, China and the United States have all been engaged in varying degrees of risk management and efforts to strengthen economic security for several years. However, the measures they each adopt, as well as their desired outcomes and the length of time each actor has been engaged in such activities, are quite distinct.

MARIANN: Meanwhile, at the company-level, the volume, complexity and severity of the risks businesses face have grown exponentially, as politics has slowly seeped into the business environment. Corporate planning is now skewed disproportionately towards risk management rather than cost saving, optimising efficiency or increasing market share.

RUI: Join us on 20th March in Beijing to attend the launch of the Chamber’s latest publication dedicated to the topic of risk management at both the political and corporate level, produced in partnership with China Macro Group.  Following its launch, the report will be available on the Chamber’s website to download for free.


MARIANN: Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to tune in again next week.

RUI: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.

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