Daily News - 20191210

 |  China Daily / Xinhua

Today's point


Foreign trade efforts set to be stepped up


Chinese tea tastes success in Moroccan market


China, Africa see robust growth in agricultural trade


Demand for English training rises


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1. Foreign trade efforts set to be stepped up

Containers carrying goods for export are seen in Qingdao Port, East China's Shandong province, on Oct 19, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Ministry plans to lower institutional costs, tariffs to unlock import potential

China has reiterated confidence in its efforts to ensure stable growth in foreign trade with a high quality focus and achieve total trade volume of 30 trillion yuan ($4.26 trillion) by the end of this year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

Li Xingqian, head of the Department of Foreign Investment Administration at the ministry, said during a media briefing that the country's foreign trade volume has achieved stable growth despite trade uncertainties.

"From January to November, China's foreign trade volume totaled 28.5 trillion yuan, up 2.4 percent on an annualized basis. In addition, China's exports grew at a quicker pace than most of the other major global economies," he said.

Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that in 2018, the total volume of China's imports and exports stood at 30.51 trillion yuan, 9.7 percent higher than the level in 2017.

Li said that to maintain stable and high quality development of foreign trade, the ministry will take more steps to boost imports. It will continue to lower tariffs and institutional costs to unlock the import potential and also normalize the organization of the China International Import Expo.

(Source: China Daily)


2. Chinese tea tastes success in Moroccan market

A tea picker carries her leaves in Ikumbi, Kenya. Although Africa is a big market for green tea in terms of consumption, Chinese tea brands have to strive hard to succeed there due to strong market competition. [Photo/Agencies]

RABAT-About three years after entering the Moroccan market, Chinese tea brand Le Mont Yoto has gradually gained popularity in some areas.

Zhang Daiquan, general manager of Cathaysian Tea Company, which is responsible for the production of Le Mont Yoto tea, said annual sales volume of the first Chinese tea brand to enter the Moroccan market has exceeded 100 metric tons.

Although Morocco is a big market for green tea in terms of consumption, Chinese tea brands have to strive hard to succeed here, said Zhang.

Morocco has a long history of tea culture and local enterprises have established a stable market structure after decades of intense market competition, which means it is challenging for a new brand that wants to share a slice of the cake, Zhang said.

Zhang said that due to different tea drinking habits, Moroccan consumers have their own preferences for tea taste and flavor.

Tea has become a part of life of most Moroccans. They drink several times a day the mint-flavored tea made from green tea, fresh mint leaves and white sugar, usually served in traditional handmade pot.

According to the Association of Moroccan Tea Professionals, local consumers on average bought more than 2 kilograms of tea each in 2018.

As the world's largest importer of green tea, Morocco imported 77,600 tons of tea from China in 2018, as stated by the association.

Zhang explained that in 2015, Morocco adjusted its import tariff policy for tea. The import tariff on large-packaged tea has dropped to 2.5 percent, while the import tariff on the small-packaged (below 3 kg) has risen to 32.5 percent.

(Source: China Daily)


3. China, Africa see robust growth in agricultural trade

SANYA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The trade volume of agricultural products between China and Africa increased about tenfold from 2000 to 2018, according to China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

The trade volume increased from 650 million U.S. dollars in 2000 to 6.92 billion in 2018, registering an average annual growth of 14 percent, agricultural minister Han Changfu said at the 1st Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture that opened Monday in the southern resort city of Sanya.

The inaugural forum brought together nearly 500 participants, including representatives from institutions of higher education and research, enterprises from home and abroad, as well as international organizations.

Agricultural departments of China and African countries have conducted pragmatic cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefits in areas such as trade, investment, people-to-people exchange and technological training, Han said.

By the end of 2018, Chinese companies had made an investment stock of more than 15 billion yuan (about 2.4 billion U.S. dollars) in Africa, with 115 agricultural projects with an investment of over 5 million yuan each, he said.

Nearly 10,000 agricultural officials, technicians, farmers and students from African countries receive training in China each year, Han added.

(Source: Xinhua)


4. Demand for English training rises

EF employees take part in a meeting at the company's Shanghai headquarters. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese firms looking to go global are investing in their employees' language skills

The number of Chinese State-owned and private enterprises investing in improving employees' English proficiency has been rising sharply over the past five to 10 years as more local companies tap into the global market, according to an international company specializing in language training.

Today, employees from State-owned, private and multinational enterprises each account for a third of its clients, while they were dominantly multinationals when Sweden-based EF Education First started offering corporate solutions in China in 2004, said Jesper Knutell, executive vice-president and general manager of corporate solutions at EF China.

"Fifteen years ago, our clients were multinational companies who required their local employees to improve their English proficiency. But the rise of the other two types of enterprises is obvious as they are going or want to go global with China's increasing presence on the international stage," Knutell said during an interview with China Daily on Friday.

"Many big local companies support the Belt and Road Initiative put forward in 2013, and they have opportunities for development in the countries and regions involved in the initiative. That created a strong need for them to upscale employees' language skills in the past few years," he said.

Knutell said the company cannot provide figures for the speed of growth of corporate solutions due to company policy but it keeps investing in this area, which continues to grow in various industries, including technology and pharmaceuticals.

(Source: China Daily)

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