Increasing number of trade disputes and slackening global demand are likely to hit China's export growth in the coming months, a Chinese commerce ministry official has warned.
The export figures in the past two months were far less than the previous year and they set a pessimistic tone for the whole year, Zhong Shan, China’s deputy commerce Minister said.
"The situation surrounding China's exports will become more complicated and severe in the coming months amid an increasing number of trade protectionist measures and slackening global demand," the 'China Daily' said.
China's exports declined 0.5% over the year in January, the first fall in more than two years. During the first two months, Chinese shipments grew by merely 6.9% year-on-year.
China will roll out policies regarding currency and tax rebates to bolster exports, he said at a forum in Beijing, adding that it will be more arduous for the Chinese government to stabilise export growth.
According to Zhong, industrial competitiveness, global demand and the business environment, which are the decisive trends for China, are "not favourable" to Beijing.
China is losing its dominant competitiveness in labour costs as it set raise minimum wages for workers to improve their livelihoods, state-run China Daily quoted Zhong as saying.
"The world economy is entering into a very difficult period, and trade cases targeting Chinese goods are growing," he said.
The United States recently announced it was setting up the Interagency Trade Enforcement Centre to see whether its trade partners play by the rules.
The move is widely seen as increasing frictions between China and the US.
In the first 11 months of last year, 58 trade remedy cases were launched worldwide against China, and China has been the major target for trade protectionism for a decade, he said.