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
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher