Chinese trade growth in historical, regional context

A few arti­cles I’ve been read­ing recent­ly that put China’s trade growth in per­spec­tive. China’s trade growth rates are not high­er than Japan’s or the Asian ‘tiger’ economies dur­ing their peri­ods of most rapid growth. Chi­na is also the world’s third biggest importer although there is still a lot of growth poten­tial in it’s shares of resources imports and tech­nol­o­gy and human cap­i­tal exports. An excel­lent “pol­i­cy overview”:http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/200506bown.pdf paper by Brook­ings Insti­tute staff this month sum­ma­rizes the dan­gers of US dis­crim­i­na­to­ry trade poli­cies toward Chi­na. Here’s a table show­ing China’s export trade growth in con­text There’s more on the longer-term growth rates of Chi­nese trade in his­tor­i­cal con­text from last year’s “IMF Eco­nom­ic Outlook”:http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2004/01/pdf/chapter2.pdf. The Aus­tralian Trea­sury has also been look­ing at Chi­nese growth in an his­tor­i­cal and region­al con­text in its recent staff paper on the “Chang­ing pat­tern of East Asia’s growth”:http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/958/PDF/05_changing_pattern.pdf. The paper graphs the high, and grow­ing, pro­por­tion of export pro­cess­ing trade in Chi­na It shows how Australia’s exports—dominated by min­er­als, wool and coal/LNG—are dis­tin­guished from those of oth­er Asia-Pacif­ic exporters by their domes­tic use Despite red-hot growth rates recent­ly, the Chi­nese demand for these resource inten­sive goods seems to have some way to go to reflect the economy’s over­all share of world out­put (2nd biggest at about $6 tril­lion on a PPP basis) It’s share of world exports in tex­tiles and light man­u­fac­tures has shot ahead of oth­er regions, but it is evi­dent that Chi­na has con­sid­er­able up-side poten­tial in exports of knowl­edge-inten­sive goods and tech­nol­o­gy

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