China commerce minister says incentives to keep boosting exports

BEIJING Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:31pm EDT

China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming speaks during a news conference after a bilateral meeting with Colombia's Trade Minister Sergio Diaz Granado in Bogota October 2, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming speaks during a news conference after a bilateral meeting with Colombia's Trade Minister Sergio Diaz Granado in Bogota October 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Vizcaino

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese export incentives will continue to help boost shipments, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said in remarks published on Wednesday after September trade recovered more than expected.

Chen's comments came after weekend data showed China's September exports grew 9.9 percent year-on-year -- or roughly twice the rate expected -- while imports returned to the path of expansion.

"The effects of various measures taken to stabilize external demand will be shown further," Chen said at a meeting in the export hub of Guangzhou, according to a statement published on the ministry's website, www.mofcom.gov.cn, on Wednesday.

To offset a slowdown in key export markets, Beijing has rolled out an array of measures to help relieve the burden on exporters, including quickening the payment of tax rebates, cutting red tape and increasing access to bank loans.

Although September exports were better than expected, some economists says the outlook for China's trade remains tough as the debt crisis festers in Europe, the single biggest overseas market for Chinese goods. A slower-than-expected recovery in the U.S. economy is also seen as a major drag on China's export growth for the rest of the year.

China's total trade growth in the first nine months of 2012 was just 6.2 percent - way behind the official 10 percent target for the year. Officials say external demand may even weaken in the months ahead.

Last week, the official English-language publication, the China Daily, reported that the chance of meeting this year's target was "hopeless".

(Reporting by Xiaoyi Shao and Lucy Hornby; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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