News about international trade flows, statistics and policy decisions from the world’s most important trading economies and the World Trade Organisation.

Why WTO hi-tech tariff deal is a sign of hope for deadlocked Doha Round

A bilateral deal between China and the US last year freed a lingering logjam on the road to ITA-II. Photo: AFP

Unless something goes badly wrong, a subset of World Trade Organisation signatories will seal an important tariff reduction agreement on Friday.

Wednesday, 22 July, 2015, 4:05pm

Mainland China’s exports hold up but proceeds head offshore

The mainland has resisted the worldwide trade slowdown. Photo: Reuters

China’s export sales unexpectedly rose for the first time in four months in June while imports fell again but posted their best performance this year, causing some optimism that tepid trade flows are picking up.

SCMP, July 14

21 Jul 2015 - 12:13pm

Who needs Hong Kong Trade Development Council?

How can the TDC demand land for convention centres when Hong Kong's chief executive is busy scouring every square inch of land in Hong Kong for new housing and when there is already an enormous oversupply of convention facilities just across the border in Guangdong? Photo: Dustin Shum

The Trade Development Council’s new chief [Vincent Lo Hong-sui] has said helping small and medium-sized enterprises and building new convention facilities in the city are the top priorities for his two-year term, which started this month.

SCMP, June 12


15 Jun 2015 - 6:55pm 8 comments

China warns EU to respect looming new trading status under WTO

Yang Yanyi, China's ambassador to the European Union, urges all sides to abide by WTO rules and not resort to protectionism. Photo: SCMP Pictures

China's top diplomat in Brussels has warned the European Union not to disregard changes to global trade rules set to favour Beijing and which European companies fear will open the bloc to a flood of cheap Chinese goods.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm

Hong Kong wine dealers raise a toast to falling euro and mainland China market recovery

The depreciation of the euro against the Hong Kong dollar has made European wines much more appealing to local consumers. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong’s wine trade is on the rebound, as businesses toast the falling euro and recovery of the mainland Chinese market.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm

US tourism sector outperforms as Americans buy fewer Chinese goods

The number of Chinese tourists visiting the US surged 21 per cent to 2.19 million in 2014, outpacing the 7 per cent growth in all tourist arrivals to the US. Photo: AP

For years China has been considered the factory for the world, a role that saw it supply most of the shoes, toys and clothes to US consumers. Now these roles are changing. US exports of services to China, especially travel, are growing rapidly while US imports of goods from China have been falling in recent months.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm 2 comments

Weak South Korean exports add to rate cut pressure

South Korean exports in March fell 4.2 per cent from a year earlier, the sharpest fall since February 2013. Photo: Bloomberg

South Korean exports fell the most in two years in March and inflation hit its lowest since 1999, weakening economic momentum and putting the central bank under pressure to cut interest rates again.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm

Businesses fail to get watchdog to tighten rules on anti-competition complaints

Concern group formed by pork retailers protests against big supermarkets' monopoly in pork market by stepping on yellow papers that read "meat tyrant" in 2012. Photo: May Tse

The business sector has lost a battle to make it more difficult for people to file complaints about unfair practices under a competition law that is due to come into full effect before the year is up.

Business groups had been trying to get the new competition watchdog to require a complainant to show a "legitimate interest" in his complaint in order to curb abuse of the system.

21 Apr 2015 - 9:21am

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew presses China to open markets in Beijing talks

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (L) shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang before their meeting in Beijing on Monday. Photo: Reuters

United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has pressed China to open its markets further by removing restrictions on technology transfers in talks with Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang.

20 Apr 2015 - 9:09am 1 comment

China upstages Russia in fight for Central Asia

The anti-graft investigations, which have taken down more than two dozen managers at CNPC, have slowed decision making within the company and its domestic peers. Photo: Reuters

China is upstaging Russia as the most influential player in Central Asia, but the mainland's huge trade and investment in the resource-rich region faces challenges in terms of suspicion, lower oil prices and its anti-graft crackdown back home.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm

China puts new limits on Norwegian salmon imports

China is restricting imports of some Norwegian salmon. Photo: Bloomberg

China will impose new restrictions on imports of Norwegian salmon due to Beijing's worries that the fish may carry disease, according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

20 Apr 2015 - 9:09am 3 comments

Debate over China’s currency manipulation part of international trade debate

U.S. President Barack Obama (centre) meets with the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries in Beijing on November 10, 2014.  China isn't a party to the pending 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Obama hopes to send Congress this year. Photo: Reuters

Supporters of US President Barack Obama's trade agenda are battling opponents' demands to bar China from keeping its currency value artificially low, a way to subsidise exports.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm

Beijing's new Silk Road may be a break for Hong Kong manufacturers

Hong Kong manufacturers have been urged to consider relocating to cheaper bases, such as Cambodia. Photo: Denise Tsang

The national “one-belt-one-road” export policy will offer opportunities for Hong Kong manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta and the city’s financial services sector, industry insiders said.

21 Apr 2015 - 9:21am 2 comments

Hong Kong fur fair facing more protests as Russian financial crisis hits trade

A camera-shy exhibitor wears a fur coat at her stand during the opening day of the fair at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai yesterday. Photo: David Wong

Hong Kong furriers welcomed the opening of the world's largest fur fashion event as local animal rights activists upped their fight against the trade and sales to largest market Russia looked set to stumble.

21 Apr 2015 - 9:21am 6 comments

US west coast ports operating at full speed after tentative labour deal reach

US west coast ports operating at full speed after tentative labour deal reach

US west coast ports have begun resuming full operations after a tentative labour deal was reached between a group of shipping companies and a powerful dockworkers union after nine months of negotiations.

17 Apr 2015 - 4:31pm