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China aims to increase exports, imports by 10 pct

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BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China aims to increase the volume of total exports and imports by around 10 percent year-on-year in 2012 to further improve its international balance of payments, Premier Wen Jiabao said in a government work report Monday.

The targeted foreign trade growth is a sharp slowdown from last year when China's imports and exports rose 22.5 percent year-on-year to 3.64 trillion U.S. dollars.

Currently, China is the world's second-largest importer, and the biggest exporter since 2009 when it overtook Germany.

"While expanding domestic demand is crucial, we can never overlook the importance of external demand in China's economic development," said Wen in the report delivered at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

According to Wen, China will continue to implement the export tax rebate policy and fully implement the strategy of boosting trade through upgrading technologies, improving quality, and diversifying markets.

"We will consolidate traditional markets in the United States, Japan, and Europe and open up emerging markets," he said, adding China will limit the export of goods whose production is energy intensive and highly polluting.

Meanwhile, China will adopt guidelines to increase imports and promote trade balance, improve import policies, build more platforms to promote imports, and work for balanced growth of exports and imports, according to the report.

China will implement the newly revised Proposed List of Industries for Foreign Investment, and encourage more foreign investment in advanced manufacturing, new and high technologies, energy conservation, environmental protection, new service industries, and the central and western regions.

Wen said the government will guide Chinese enterprises under various forms of ownership in making overseas investments, mergers and acquisitions in energy, raw materials, agriculture, manufacturing, service industries, and infrastructure in an orderly manner.

China will strive to maintain steady growth of China's economic and trade relations with developed countries and comprehensively deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with developing countries, according to the report.

Wen pledged to actively participate in building mechanisms for global economic governance such as the G20, strengthen coordination with major economies on macroeconomic policy, oppose protectionism in all its forms, and continue to play a constructive role in the Doha Round of trade talks and the reform of the international financial system.

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