Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, January 12 (Xinhua) In 2023, while facing domestic and foreign challenges, my country's foreign trade will still be better than expected, and new growth momentum will continue to increase.

The General Administration of Customs said on Friday that China's total import and export of goods in 2023 will be 41.76 trillion yuan (approximately US$5.88 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 0.2%.

Data show that exports were 23.77 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 0.6%; imports were 17.99 trillion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 0.3%.

Wang Lingjun, deputy director of the General Administration of Customs, said at a press conference that trade data show that my country's export products have a solid competitive advantage, and technological products have become a new growth point for exports.

In 2023, the total export volume of my country's three major technology-intensive green new energy sources, namely solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, and electric vehicles, will increase by 29.9%, reaching 1.06 trillion yuan, breaking through the trillion yuan mark for the first time.

The export value of mechanical and electrical products accounted for 58.6% of total exports, an increase of 2.9%.

Although the overall export growth rate in 2023 has slowed down compared with previous years, GAC Group spokesperson Lu Daliang emphasized that China's export data has reached a new high on a high base.

Lu said China's trade volume has achieved reasonable growth and maintained its global share. The latest data from the World Trade Organization predicts that China's global export share will remain at a high of 14% in 2023.

In response to media questions about the decline in imports, Lu said that this was mainly due to the decline in import prices of bulk commodities. "China's import volumes actually increased, reflecting continued production growth and strong consumer demand."

Data released by the General Administration of Customs on Friday also showed that private enterprises have played a greater role in promoting foreign trade growth. Mr. Wang introduced that in 2023, the total number of trading entities with import and export records will exceed 600,000 for the first time, of which 556,000 are private enterprises, accounting for the largest share.

The trade volume of private enterprises accounted for 53.5% of the total, an increase of 3.1 percentage points from 2022, and the trade volume of foreign-invested enterprises accounted for 30.2%.

Wang also said that trade with countries along the Belt and Road has accounted for an increasing share of total foreign trade. Last year, China's trade volume with these countries accounted for 46.6% of the total, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 2022.

Looking ahead, Wang is optimistic about the trade prospects in 2024. "A recent survey of major trading companies shows that three-quarters of them expect imports and exports to be flat or grow this year," Wang said.

Despite unpredictable factors such as trade protectionism and intensifying geopolitical tensions, China has the confidence, ability and conditions to continue to maintain the good development momentum of foreign trade in 2024.