Trade with Japan growing despite pandemic

Yang Meiping
City's commerce commission says trade with Japan in the first eight months grew 3.6 percent while from January to October Japanese enterprises invested US$645 million in Shanghai.
Yang Meiping

Trade between Shanghai and Japan reached 244.8 billion yuan (US$ 37.3 billion) in the first eight months of the year, city officials told a Sino-Japan economic cooperation seminar on Sunday.

Shanghai Commerce Commission said that, despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, trade with Japan in the first eight months had grown 3.6 percent year on year.

In addition, from January to October Japanese enterprises had invested US$645 million in Shanghai, a 8.6 percent increase from the same period last year, the commission said.

At the third China International Import Expo earlier this month, more than 400 Japanese exhibitors displayed their products in an area of over 50,000 square meters, 10 percent and 16.9 percent more that that of the second expo last year.

Both the number of exhibitors and the exhibition area were among the largest of any other countries, a mark of their confidence in the Chinese market, said the commission.

Sha Hailin, chairman of the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said the Chinese and Japanese peoples had deepened their friendship during the pandemic by donating protective and medical materials to each other and expressing mutual support.

He said the economic relationship between China and Japan had shown great resilience amid the pandemic. According to statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs, bilateral import and export trade between China and Japan totaled 1.4 trillion yuan in the first eight months, up 1 percent from the same period last year. China’s exports to Japan increased by 0.3 percent and its imports from Japan grew by 1.6 percent.

“All these figures indicate that economic and trade relations between our two countries is developing in a better direction,” said Sha. “I believe our economic cooperation will surely reach a new level.”

Akio Isomata, consul-general of Japan in Shanghai, said: “Although the pandemic limited the travel and progress in implementing some cooperation plans, the third China International Import Expo made me believe that people’s enthusiasm and efforts to promote cooperation and exchanges between Japan and China have not diminished.”

To ensure sustainable development of cooperation and exchanges between Japan and China and inject vitality into cooperation and innovation, he said it was necessary to attract young people to take part.

“Japan and China will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of our diplomatic relations in 2022,” he said. “In the next 50 years, we need to carry out all kinds of activities to help our young people to establish hear-to-heart friendships.”

The seminar was organized by the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Shanghai University of International Business and Economics.

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