Tax rebates, regional upturn boost exports

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 August, 1999, 12:00am

Exports through the port of Shanghai, one of the mainland's largest, have risen 18 per cent in the first seven months due to Beijing's efforts to increase tax rebates.

Xinhua news agency reported yesterday that Shanghai's strong growth was providing further tentative signs of a recovery in the mainland's exports as a whole.

Separately, the International Trade News, backed by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, said mainland exports would improve in the second half of this year because of the general recovery in the world economy.

The mainland has been trying to boost flagging exports by raising export tax rebates and allowing more companies to conduct foreign trade.

Official data showed the country recorded a trade surplus of US$8 billion in the first half of this year, down from $22.55 billion in the same period last year.

Partly due to the impact of the Asian economic crisis, the mainland's exports slid 4.6 per cent to $83 billion in the first six months, of this year.

Xinhua said the total import and export volume through Shanghai rose more than 20 per cent to $39.5 billion in the first seven months of this year.

During the same period, exports were $22.8 billion while imports rose 23 per cent to $16.7 billion. It did not give figures for June.

Xinhua said exports of electrical machinery, especially electronic products, recorded the greatest growth rate of nearly 50 per cent.

Clothing exports also achieved double-digit growth.

Exports through Shanghai to South Korea rose by 80 per cent, Thailand by 50 per cent and the Philippines by 40 per cent on the back of economic recovery in the wider East Asia region.

Despite the recovery, the International Trade News said the mainland's overall trade surplus was expected to fall to about $20 billion this year, compared with $43.59 billion last year.

The newspaper said exports would probably grow 1.7 per cent to $187 billion this year, while imports were expected to increase 19 per cent to $167 billion.