Domestic market cheers trading firms

Increasing emphasis on integrated development of domestic and foreign trade will inject new growth impetus into Chinese enterprises and accelerate implementation of China’s new dual-circulation development pattern, experts and business leaders said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, China unveiled a circular with multiple measures to reduce trading costs for enterprises so that they can make better use of both domestic and foreign markets and resources, to coordinate the development of domestic and foreign trade and the growth of imports and exports.

The aim is to help deepen the new development pattern, and realize high-level opening-up and high-quality development, the document said.

Issued by the General Office of the State Council, it stressed improving institutional support for foreign and domestic trade integration, which includes better alignment of domestic trading rules and standards with global ones in areas like intellectual property rights protection, antitrust regulation enforcement, trade liberalization and facilitation, and product certification.

Efforts should be made to encourage market entities like large trading and logistics firms to expand overseas, while growth of cross-border supply chain service providers will also be facilitated, to add resilience to industrial and supply chains, it said.

Yin Zhengping, a researcher at the Institute of International Trade, which is part of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the document aims to help foreign trade companies facing challenges due to COVID-19 to navigate operations in the domestic market, while encouraging them to increase their presence in global markets.

Yang Guoxiu, chairperson of Hunan Guoxiu Food Group Co Ltd in Yongzhou, Hunan province, a Chinese canned food producer, said the domestic market now accounts for half of the company’s sales. Yet merely a few years ago, the company’s products were mainly exported to overseas markets.

“The domestic market is now as important as foreign markets,”Yang said, adding high-quality products manufactured by the same production lines for exports using the same standards are popular among domestic consumers.

According to Guan Lixin, deputy director of the Institute of Distribution and Consumption, which is part of CAITEC, integrated development of domestic and foreign trade will accelerate the establishment of a fair, efficient, transparent and unified domestic market.

The move will also coordinate the relations between foreign investment and outbound foreign investment, she said.

Latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that overseas direct investment from China surged by 9.2 percent year-on-year to more than $145 billion last year.

Feng Guan, vice-director of the OIG Institute, a research facility of Optima Integration Group, said China’s leading services platform for frozen product imports, Chinese trade and logistics firms’ overseas expansion will reduce reliance on foreign supply networks and facilitate Chinese exports.