According to Guangdong Sub-Administration of Customs, in the first seven months of this year, exports grew by 20.8% to RMB 2.72 trillion, and imports climbed to RMB 1.77 trillion with a 20.1% growth. And it was 15.3% and 15.1% growth for exports and imports respectively, compared with the pre-pandemic level in 2019.
Guangdong has also kept up its long-standing cooperation with major trade partners. Specifically, exports and imports with ASEAN, Hong Kong, the US, the EU, and Taiwan rose by 22%, 18.9%, 17.9%, 21.9%, 22.4% respectively. In addition, Guangdong’s trade with RCEP partners and countries along the Belt and Road also climbed 17.5% and 22.5%.
However, problems such as low efficiency in shipping, currency fluctuations, higher costs for enterprises, and labor shortages in some regions, are still standing in the way. The co-existence of challenges and opportunities has made the next step extremely tricky.
“The further growth and breakthrough of Guangdong foreign trade, I believe, rely on the overall advantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” said Cai Chunlin, professor of economic and trade in Guangdong University of Technology. He believes that Guangdong should work together with Hong Kong and Macao for high-quality trade development.
Chen Wanling, professor in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, suggested that Guangdong should make full use of traditional industries to push diversification of products and upgrade of production technology. And he also maintained that Guangdong has full capacity to fill the gap in international industrial chains, and should thus work to accomplish it.