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June 26, 2020

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China still leading as ‘factory of the world’

THE successful 127th China Import and Export Fair, known as the Canton Fair, has demonstrated China is “still going strong” as the world’s factory even during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to The Economist magazine.

The virtual Canton Fair, the first for the decades-old trade fair, ended on Wednesday in south China’s Guangdong Province. The 10-day fair attracted nearly 26,000 domestic and foreign enterprises, with 1.8 million products exhibited.

China — which accounts for 28 percent of global manufacturing, nearly the size of the United States, Japan and Germany in combined — is “the world’s factory, more than ever,” the magazine said.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s value-added industrial output rose 4.4 percent year on year in May, up 0.5 percentage points from April.

The world’s largest developing country, the magazine said, should firstly owe its strong performance to its industrial base “unparalleled in breadth and depth,” which has enabled it to churn out products from low-end footwear to high-end biotech.

The second advantage for the world’s most populous nation is “its own vast market,” the magazine said, adding that “by one measure global firms look even more wedded to China, despite the trade war.”

Chinese firms are in better shape than most elsewhere, thanks to the country’s success in containing the virus.

“Not only is China’s economy one of the few likely to grow this year; its earlier resumption of industrial activity has allowed exporters to gain market share while most other countries are still in varying states of lockdown,” the magazine said.


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