Sino-Japan trade improves despite tension
By Li Jiabao, China Daily/ANNBEIJING--Despite the stalemate in political ties between China and Japan, economic relations of the two Asian economies have improved this year compared with the second half of last year, with a pickup in bilateral trade and increased business and non-governmental connections, experts said.
October 28, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
“The economic ties between China and Japan are improving compared with the second half of last year. Business connections between the two sides are strengthening with increased entrepreneurial and people-to-people communications,” said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a government think tank.
“Mutual demand for each other's markets are the basis and the two economies share high interdependency. Businesses from the two countries have strong willingness for cooperation,” Li said after a recent visit to Japan with a business delegation.
He added that, on the whole, the current situation of China-Japan economic relations is “better than last year,” especially in two-way trade, which sharply contracted after Japan's “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands led to territorial disputes between the two Asian powers.
“The pickup of China-Japan trade is expected to extend into the fourth quarter of this year, while the whole year will see bilateral trade post a decline,” Li said.
Yao Haitian, a researcher from the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, echoed that sentiment. “China-Japan economic ties are now at a phase of gradually getting away from the bottom,” he said.
Yao said that bilateral trade is likely to ease the declining pace in the fourth quarter of this year, mainly owing to the sharply contracted trade figures in the same period of last year following the territorial rows.
“The impact from strained ties keeps hurting bilateral trade. While some demand recovered in the two markets, other demand will never regain in the Chinese market because some domestic customers refuse Japanese brands,” Yao said.
China is growing into the world's largest consumer market and the world's largest trader. The country's imports in the next five years are expected to total US$10 trillion.
In the January-September period of this year, Japan was China's fifth-largest trade partner. Bilateral trade reached US$229.08 billion, down 7.9 percent from a year earlier, while China's overall trade rose 7.7 percent.