BEIJING Jan 10 China's exports are likely to
grow by 8-9 percent this year, slightly faster than in 2012,
while foreign direct investment inflows could be steady, a
senior researcher with the Commerce Ministry's think-tank said
"China's trade growth could accelerate slightly this year
from 2012. We believe export growth could be single-digit,
probably between 8 percent and 9 percent," Li Jian, head of
foreign trade research of the Chinese Academy of International
Trade and Economic Cooperation, told Reuters.
"The U.S. economy is recovering slowly and we need to watch
whether Europe's debt crisis could be brought under control."
Li's forecasts came after official data showed China's
exports rose a sharper-than-expected 14.1 percent in December,
the strongest pace in seven months.
China's exports grew 7.9 percent in 2012 and imports were up
4.3 percent. The government had targeted a 10 percent rise in
foreign trade last year.
Li added that the pace of yuan appreciation would be small
this year, though he did not give a specific forecast. The yuan
gained just 1 percent against the dollar in 2012,
slowing from a 4.7 percent rise in 2011.
Growing trade frictions would be a long-term challenge for
Chinese exporters and firms must move up the global value chain
by increasing their international presence, Li said.
"I think FDI could be steady as the global economy improves.
The government will support economic growth this year, which
means investment demand will stay strong," he said.
China could lure in at least $100 billion in FDI this year
as the economy recovers due to pro-growth policies, he said.
China drew $100 billion in FDI in the first 11 months of
2012, down 3.6 percent from a year earlier, the latest official
Many economists have pencilled in annual economic growth of
around 8 percent for China this year, up slightly from 2012.