China’s warming foreign trade boosts global economic recovery
GUANGZHOU, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The booming orders at the beginning of 2023 mark a robust rebound in foreign trade in south China’s Guangdong Province, a primary economic hub, injecting new impetus into the global economic recovery.
With eased epidemic controls and resumed international communication, particularly the economic and trade contacts, some factories in Huizhou City, Guangdong, are facing surging orders from overseas and a growing demand for industrial workers. Fierce competition to grab orders in the broad overseas markets is also in sight among Chinese enterprises.
The Guangdong One Nano Technology Co., Ltd. in Zhongkai High-tech Zone of Huizhou is now fully engaged in the spring recruitment and plans to double the size of its staff in 2023, following an increase of 279 percent in its revenue in 2022 and a busy order schedule for various nanomaterials before the second quarter of 2023.
“We are highly confident and motivated. We want to get our business off to a good start in the first quarter and strive to increase our production value by 10 percent this year,” said Zhang Qian, general manager of Huizhou Macc Electronics Co., Ltd., which has sent a marketing team to visit clients for cooperation chances in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S.A. and the Republic of Korea.
Overall, the economic operation saw a striking recovery trend as the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain strengthened and market expectations improved. Statistics show that Chinese enterprises have robust confidence and optimistic prospects.
The purchasing managers’ index for China’s manufacturing sector rose 3.1 percent from the previous month to 50.1 percent in January, while the new orders index rose seven percentage points to 50.9 percent, according to a recent release by the service industry survey center of the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
The outstanding performance is part and parcel of the efforts by Chinese enterprises regarding digital transformation and business format innovation.
Benefiting from the expansion of the intelligent manufacturing production lines and automatic assembly lines, as well as the update of the information managing system, Galanz, a Foshan-based home appliance manufacturer, has received rapidly growing foreign-trade orders for microwave ovens, toasters, and ovens and dishwashers.
Apart from production, enterprises also attach more importance to cross-border e-commerce, greatly facilitating their foreign trade business.
“Our salesmen were busy with orders received during the Spring Festival. The inquiries and orders on Alibaba.com over the holiday were higher than usual, totaling more than 3 million U.S. dollars,” said Zhao Yunqi, general manager of Sunway Solar Co., Ltd., whose rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are distributed to the overseas warehouse upon production due to the burgeoning order number.
Cross-border e-commerce platforms like Alibaba.com have become an accelerator for new business formats to develop. The cross-border index on Alibaba.com shows that high-quality business opportunities in the new energy industry on the platform have increased by 92 percent, making it an export highlight.
The platform also plans to launch 100 overseas digital exhibitions this year, together with 30,000 cross-border live broadcasts and 40 press conferences for new products in March.
China will stick to a high-level opening up to make foreign trade more convenient and rewarding by multiple methods. Offline domestic export exhibitions will resume, and enterprises will receive full support to participate in professional expos abroad.
China will also strengthen cooperation with trading partners, leverage the advantages of its massive market, increase quality product imports from other countries, and stabilize the global trade supply chain, according to an official of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
The 133rd China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, scheduled to open on April 15, will fully resume offline exhibitions. Chu Shijia, director of the China Foreign Trade Center, said that more than 40,000 enterprises have applied to participate. The number of offline exhibition booths is expected to increase from 60,000 to nearly 70,000.
“The full recovery of the exhibition industry will accelerate, and the flourishing of trade, investment, consumption, tourism, catering, and other industries will follow,” said Chu, who noted that significant development and improvement of the Canton Fair will also better contribute to high-quality economic development.
Despite challenges such as the rising risk of global economic recession and slowing growth of overseas market demand, China’s import and export potential and contribution to the world economy remain promising.
The deepened opening up of China’s economy and recovery in domestic demand could boost global economic growth by about one percent in 2023, according to a late report by the Goldman Sachs Group.
Parliamentary resolution calls for price control of goods and services in Ramadan
Maduvvari MP and opposition People’s National Congress’ (PNC) parliamentary group leader Adam Shareef Umar, on Monday, submitted a resolution to the parliament that calls upon the government to control the prices of goods and services during the month of Ramadan.
MP Adam Shareef’s resolution states that the prices of Maldivians’ staple food products have been increased by seven percent following the hike in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in January. It was also noted that prices increased by 7.82 percent last year, while inflation rose by 75 percent.
The resolution, referring to statistics publicized by the National Bureau of Statistics, said prices of eateries had increased by 4.3 percent.
Statistics publicized by the National Bureau of Statistics show that food prices increased the most between last year’s January and this year’s January. As per the authority, the prices of food products increased by 7.82 percent during this period.
MP Shareef, in his resolution, emphasized that most people have no avenue to increase their income while living expenses continue to gradually rise. He also alleged an increase in payable monies to the government in the guise of fines and others as the public brave through these difficult times.
Therewith, he called on the government to revise the GST rates which was increased and urged state-owned companies to decrease the prices of the services they provide. He also called on the government to control the prices of goods that have plunged above reach for the public, and make arrangements to ensure price control during the month of Ramadan.
OPEC secretary general ponders energy security, transition
HOUSTON, March 7 (Xinhua)– Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said on Tuesday the energy industry needs considerable investment to meet rising global demand and ensure market stability as energy security concerns return to the fore.
Meanwhile, he said the oil and gas industry, which will retain its share as a critical component of the energy mix, must transform and decarbonize operations.
As COP28 comes up in Dubai later this year, “We at OPEC stand fully behind the UAE to bring on board everybody,” he said during the annual CERAWeek global energy forum in Houston.
SECURITY OF SUPPLY
“The key thing that we focus on is always trying to make sure that there is stability, there’s adequate supply to the market,” said the secretary general, warning of the “underinvestment” in hydrocarbons.
“We’ve seen a significant shortfall in investments in the oil sector,” he said.
It can take a long time to come into actual energy production since the typical span is a “few years at best” and up to seven years before new projects come online, he explained.
As the global economy doubles in size, energy demand will increase by 23 percent, but “there is no imaginable way renewables can alone do this (meet the demand),” he told the audience.
He said the energy industry needs 12.1 trillion U.S. dollars in capital investment. “Unless this happens, I’m afraid, honestly, that we could be facing issues in the future with regard to energy security and, accordingly, affordability,” he added.
“We are investing already, and we urge and call others to invest. It’s a global responsibility that OPEC cannot shoulder on its own,” he went on.
SECURITY OF DEMAND
Al Ghais said it is not a concern that Russia redirects its crude oil exports while Middle East exports are increasingly going to Europe, citing his 30 years of experience in the industry.
“It’s quite normal to see this,” he said, “We’ve always seen redirection of flows, whether it’s related to geopolitical events or demand centers being created and others disappearing. So this is typical where we have a redirection in flows from the east to the west or the west to the east.”
According to the forecast from OPEC, oil demand will increase by 2.3 million barrels a year, with the majority of the rise in demand coming from China and India, the secretary general said.
However, the global energy market is big enough despite improving demand, said Al Ghais.
“What concerns us more is actually the slowdown we see in Europe and the U.S. in terms of the financial situation and the inflation,” he said, noting a divided market is emerging on the demand side.
“There is phenomenal demand growth in Asia,” he said, and Russia’s oil production has been “resilient and managed to find new homes.”
He added that without the existence of OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, there would be more instability and volatility.
“With security of supply, there is also a requirement for security of demand, and the tools fit in together like hand and glove,” said the OPEC chief.
OPEC sees energy transitions as “absolutely an opportunity,” Al Ghais said.
“I don’t think it’s a threat. Again, it was something that we are already embracing. We believe this is an opportunity for us to meet our Paris Agreement goals,” he said.
“I think it’s important to look at the whole issue of energy transition, which I prefer to call energy transitions, by the way, not transition, with a sense of reality,” he said, “There is no one size fits all solution.”
Al Ghais said the energy transitions should “focus on different countries’ capabilities, circumstances, their potentials, their financial capabilities, and so forth.”
“When we talk about transition here in the U.S. or in Europe, it means nothing to other people around different parts of the world. What we take here for granted, like switching on the light, (a) switch is not available in other places in the world,” he went ahead, noting there are a million Africans alone who have no access to electricity.
The five-day CERAWeek will conclude on Friday and is focused on the dual challenges of meeting the world’s growing energy demand while reducing emissions.
More than 7,000 participants, including policymakers, industry leaders, company executives, investors and researchers from over 80 countries and regions, joined the forum, according to organizer S&P Global.
Saudi Arabia deposits 5 bln USD at Turkish Central Bank
RIYADH, March 6 (Xinhua) — Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it had deposited 5 billion U.S. dollars at the Central Bank of Türkiye.
The deposit, which was part of an agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development and the Central Bank of Türkiye, revealed the close cooperation and historical ties between the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The kingdom’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre launched in February a nationwide donation campaign to help the earthquake-hit victims in Syria and Türkiye through an online platform.
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