China has pledged to boost its imports from Southeast Asian nations as the country experiences a slowdown in overall trade growth. This deceleration is primarily attributed to weakening global and domestic demand.
During a recent business meeting with ASEAN counterparts on September 17, China’s Prime Minister expressed the nation’s readiness to increase imports from ASEAN countries.
China has held the position of the largest trading partner for the 10 ASEAN member states since 2020, particularly significant during a period marked by heightened tensions between China and the United States, as well as other developed nations.
In the first eight months of 2023, China’s exports witnessed a 5.6% decline. This drop was influenced by reduced trade with the United States and the European Union (EU), both significant trading partners for China. During the same period, imports also saw a decrease of 7.6%. This decline was partly due to a 27% reduction in orders for LCD panels and steel products.
However, the adverse effects of this decline were partially offset by increased exports to ASEAN countries. These nations are increasingly turning to China for affordable electrical appliances and machinery, shifting their reliance from Japan and other developed nations.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Thailand and the Philippines emerged as among the top 10 purchasers of Chinese automobiles in the first seven months of 2023. During this period, China witnessed a substantial 74% increase in sales, amounting to 2.7 million vehicles.
China’s commitment to boosting imports from ASEAN reflects the nation’s ongoing efforts to stimulate trade and maintain economic stability amid a complex global landscape.