Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of Commerce of China on May 15, 2012

 Dear friends from the Press,

Welcome to the press conference of today. My name is Shen Danyang, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce. I am very glad to meet you all again and make a briefing onChina’s business performance in the first four months of 2012 , and answer your questions.

I. domestic market operation

According to NBS statistics by, retail sales of consumer goods from January to April amounted to 6.4922 trillion Yuan, up by 14.7% in nominal growth year-on-year. The actual growth was 10.9%, price fluctuation excluded. Driven by month of national promotion and national holidays, the consumer market maintained a steady growth. the main features of marketing in April are as follows:

The commodity market grew steadily. Salves value of 3,000 key or major retailers under MOFCOM monitoring were up by rose 8.7% year-on-year, and 0.4 percentage point higher than that of March. The growth rate was 0.7 percentage point lower than that of March in 2011.

Demands for home-appliances and automobiles recovered. Sales value of home-appliances of 3,000 retailers under MOFCOM monitoring rose 3.3% and was the positive growth for the first time this year. Sales value of furniture and building and decoration materials were up by 3.7% and 2.2%, 4.0 and 2.9 percentage points faster than that of March. According to the statistics by CAAM, sales value of automobiles in April amounted to 1.624 million, with an increase of 5.2%.

Demands on foodstuff and clothing grew steadily. Sales value of clothing of 3,000 retailers under MOFCOM monitoring rose 13.6%, 0.2 percentage point faster than that of March. Sales value of foodstuff rose 13.1%, 0.9 percentage points lower than that of March.

Prices of farm produce continued to fall. According to the monitoring by MOFCOM, the prices of farm produce saw a slight drop. Due to off-season and increasing market supply, the price of pork continued to fall after the Spring Festival, as well as the price of eggs. Last week (May 15- 13), influenced by the good weather and increasing market supply, the wholesale prices of vegetables saw a decrease of 3.6%, and that of pork was down by 0.2%, while the retail price of eggs dropped 0.5%. The prices of edible oil saw a slight rise, of soybean oil, rapeseed oil and peanut oil rose 0.1%, 0.1% and 0.5% over the previous week.

II. Foreign Trade

According to Customs statistics ,China’s imports and exports from January to April registered US$1.16718 trillion, with a year on year increase of 6.0%. Among that, exports amounted to US$593.24 billion, up by 6.9%; and imports amounted to US$573.94 billion, up by 5.1%. Trade surplus was US$19.3 million.

First, trade with emerging market grew fast. From January to April, bilateral trade value withRussia amounted to US$28.69 billion, and that of China-Brazil amounted to US$25.07 billion, with an increase of 27.7% and 14.4% respectively. Bilateral trade value of China-EU amounted to US$170.53 billion, up by 0.3%; of China-U.S. was US$146.1 billion, up by 9.2%; China-ASEAN was US$117.65 billion, up by 6.7%; and China-Japan amounted to US$107.18 billion, down by 1.5%.

Second, export growth remained robust in the central and western region. Exports of the central and western region from January to April were up by 23.6% and 39.9% respectively; in the eastern region was up by 4.1%. Among that, exports ofChongqing and Henan were up by 1.9 and 1.2 times, and that of Guangxi, Sichuan and Jiangxi were up by 29.3%, 62.8% and 38.3% respectively. Exports of Guangdong amounted to US$168.61 billion, up by 5.5%.Exports in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai amounted to US$95.8 billion, US$65.29 billion and US$63.57 billion, with an increase of 1.7%, 4.2% and 1.2% respectively. And that of Shandong, Fujian and Beijing amounted to US$38.62 billion, US$27.3billion and US$17.7 billion, down by 0.3% and an increase of 7.6% and 2.9% respectively.

Third, exports of mechanic and electronic products maintained a steady growth. From January to April,China’s exports of mechanic and electronic products amounted to US$ 346.79 billion, up by 8.5%, 1.6 percentage points higher than that of the total value of exports in the same period. Among that, exports of electrical and electronic products amounted to US$ 140.29 billion, up by 5.5%; mechanical equipment amounted to US$ 115.05 billion, up by 11%. While the exports of labor-intensive products, clothing amounted to US$ 39.37 billion, up by 1%; textile amounted to US$ 28.85 billion, down by 0.3%; and shoes amounted to US$ 12.4 billion, up by 4.2%.

Forth, general trade export declined. The imports and exports ofChina’s general trade from January to April was US$617.06 billion, up by 6.8%. Among that, exports amounted to US$280.29 billion, up by 7.3%; while imports amounted to US$336.77 billion, up by 6.5%.Trade deficit of general trade amounted to US$56.48 billion, up by 2.7%. The imports and exports of China’s processing trade was US$412.99 billion, with a year-on year increase of 3.3%. Among that, exports amounted to US$266.11 billion, up by 5.3%; imports amounted to US$146.88 billion with a decrease of 0.3%. Trade surplus of processing trade amounted to US$ 119.23 billion, up by 13.1%.

III. Foreign investment

From January to April, 7,016 foreign-invested enterprises were newly established inChina, down by 13.94% year on year. The actualized FDI reached US$37.881 billion, down by 2.38% year on year. In April, the actual investment reached US$8.401 billion, down by 0.74% year on year. By the end of April, 745 thousand foreign enterprises were approved on an accumulative basis with actual FDI registering US$1.2 trillion. The features of foreign investment are as follows:

First, foreign investment in some service sectors grew rapidly. From January to April, the actualized FDI in service sector reached US$17.71 billion, down by 3.1% year on year, accounting for 46.8% of the total national amount over the same period, higher than the proportion of manufacturing sector. Among that, the actual investment in computer application service, integrated technology service and financial service increased over 30%. The figures in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery sectors registered US$610 million, down by 0.9% year on year, taking up 1.6% of the total national amount; in manufacturing sector, US$17.02 billion, down 4.4% year on year, 44.9% of the total national amount over the same period.

Second, investment fromJapan kept increasing and that from the European Union declined greatly. In January-April period, the actual investment from Japan reached US$2.7 billion, up by 16% year on year, maintaining a steady growth; investment from the EU 27 countries actually amounted to US$1.9 billion, down by 27.9% year on year; the U.S. actually invested US$1.05 billion, slightly up by 1.9% year on year; the actualized FDI from ten countries/regions in Asia (Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea) totaled US$33.08 billion, up by 0.6% year on year.

Third, the actualized FDI in central region continued to grow rapidly. From January to April, the actual foreign investment in central region reached US$3.05 billion, up by 12.6% year on year, accounting for 8% of the national total; the figures in western region, US$2.47 billion, down by 15.2% year on year, accounting for 6.5% of the national total; in eastern region, US$32.36 billion were actually used, down by 2.5% year on year, taking up 85.4% of the national total.

IV. Outward investment and economic cooperation

First, direct investment overseas. From January to April, domestic Chinese investors had directly invested in 1,445 overseas companies in 109 countries and regions, and direct investments in non-financial sectors (similarly hereinafter) reached US$23.16 billion on an accumulative basis, up by 72.8% year on year. Among that, direct investments through mergers and acquisitions amounted to US$8.8 billion, accounting for 37.7% of the total national amount over the same period. By the end of April,China's direct investment in non-financial sectors accumulatively registered US$345.1 billion.

Second, contracted projects overseas. From January to April, the accomplished turnover ofChina's contracted projects overseas amounted to US$29.11 billion, up by 17% year on year, and newly-signed contracts valued US$35.34 billion, down by 19.1% year on year. In April, the accomplished turnover US$8.22 billion, up 4% year on year, newly-signed contracts US$7.04 billion, down 45.8% year on year. By the end of April, newly-signed contracts accumulatively valued US$877 billion and the accomplished turnover registered US$568.1 billion.

Third, labor service cooperation overseas. From January to April, all kinds of labor sent abroad reached 132 thousand, 2 thousand less over the same period of last year. Specifically, labors sent abroad for contracted projects registered 66 thousand and that for labor cooperation projects numbered 66 thousand. By the end of April, all labors sent overseas totaled 814 thousand, 39 thousand more than that over the same period of last year.

V. Circulation of Pharmaceuticals in 2011

The Outline for Development Program of National Pharmaceutical Circulation Industry (2011-2015) (hereinafter referred to as the Outline) was issued by the Ministry of Commerce in May of 2011. Guided by the Outline, pharmaceutical wholesalers and retailers have accelerated industrial restructuring, strengthened mergers and reorganizations and transformed the pattern of development, thus the implementation of the Outline has achieved an initial success. According to the statistics by MOFCOM, pharmaceutical circulation industry maintained a rapid development in 2011 with the following features:

First, fast growth in sales sustained. Total sales by pharmaceutical circulation industry in 2011 valued RMB942.6 billion (taxes included), up by 23% excluding non-comparable factors compared with that of previous year.

Second, growth of ecnomic benefits of the industry was steady with a slight decline. According to the statistics from 769 enterprises designated for direct submission of data, their main business income reached RMB656.8 billion, up by 23% year on year; with profits of RMB15.2 billion, up by 17% year on year; average rate of net profit was 1.6%, 0.3 percentage points lower over the same period of last year; average rate of gross profit was 7.2%, 0.4 percentage points lower over the same period of the year earlier; average rate of cost was 5.3%, 0.2 percentage points lower over the same period of last year.

Third, degree of industrial concentration further raised and restructuring further improved. Main business income from top 100 pharmaceutical wholesalers accounted for 73% of the total national market scale over the same period in 2011, 3 percentage points higher over the previous year. Main business income from top three conglomerates took up 42% of the total top 100 enterprises' income, nearly 8 percentage points higher over the same period of last year, and income from main business of the largest conglomerate broke 100 billion yuan seiling.

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