Nov 05, 2018 07:53 PM

Chart of the Day: China Can Nearly Meet Xi’s Import Target Without Doing Anything

In his speech at the first China International Import Expo on Monday, President Xi Jinping declared (link in Chinese) that China will import more than $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services in the next 15 years as part of its commitment to support economic globalization and promote free trade.

Xi’s promises go further than the target (link in Chinese) mentioned two days earlier by Commerce Vice Minister Wang Bingnan. Wang pledged that China will import $24 trillion worth of goods in the next 15 years.

Regardless of the confusion over the target, if either of these numbers are more than rhetoric, how big a change would they represent?


In terms of goods imports, hitting $30 trillion seems like it will be easily achievable. China imported $1.84 trillion in goods last year, so the country would import about $27.6 trillion over the next 15 years even if imports do not increase at all from pre-trade war levels. This number is a conservative forecast though, as the 2016-to-2017 year-on-year growth rate stood at 15.9%.


China’s services imports stood at $468 billion in 2017, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. Therefore it will have to significantly boost imports from the current level to meet the goal of $10 trillion in services over the next 15 years.

Contact reporter Charlotte Yang (

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code