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China confident of H2 foreign trade increase despite weak demand

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- China is confident of achieving positive growth in its foreign trade in the second half of the year, despite weakening external demand, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference on Tuesday.

Wang also expressed confidence in the role of foreign trade expansion in shoring up the country's economic recovery.

Previous data showed that China's foreign trade sustained growth momentum in the first eight months of the year, jumping 10.1 percent year on year to 27.3 trillion yuan (about 3.95 trillion U.S. dollars).

In August alone, however, the country's foreign trade volume registered an 8.6-percent year-on-year increase, down 7.9 percentage points from that in July. Some export companies have seen a decline in the number of orders recently.

"At present, the slowdown in external demand growth is the largest uncertainty facing China's foreign trade," Wang said.

He attributed the drop in export orders partly to the economic slowdown in some major economies, citing a sluggish economic outlook and a slower growth in global trade in goods.

Factors such as surging inflation in some major economies and the high inventory levels of foreign importers also resulted in the decline in orders, which has affected not only Chinese companies but also exporters in Southeast Asia and other countries, Wang added.