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Chinese foreign trade expands in emerging markets

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HANGZHOU, July 24 (Xinhua) -- In the face of sluggish European and U.S. economies, Chinese exporters have begun to look for new opportunities in overseas emerging markets.

Truelove Group Co., Ltd., a carpet exporter based in the city of Yiwu in east China's Zhejiang Province, has been one of the beneficiaries of a changing export market.

Although most of its exports were once directed toward the European and U.S. markets, its sales in the Middle East and Africa have gradually increased since 2009, according to company chairman Liu Yuanqing.

According to figures from the Zhejiang Provincial Bureau of Statistics, the province's exports to EU countries decreased 6.8 percent in the first half of 2012, while exports to Africa, South America and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) surged by 20.6, 10.7 and 10.4 percent at the same time, respectively.

Developing trade with emerging countries can help China ease a trade imbalance caused by an over-reliance on European and U.S. markets, said Craig Pepples, president of corporate affairs at Global Sources, a Hong Kong-based business-to-business media company.

At a fair hosted by Global Sources, 96 percent of attending traders said they would increase imports from China.

China has created several regulations to encourage its enterprises to develop trade with emerging markets. External trade volume in emerging markets is expected to reach 58 percent of the country's overall trade by 2015.

The expansion of foreign trade does not come without risk, said Fu Yunsheng, a professor at the Zhejiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

Fu said that in order to reduce commercial risks, Chinese enterprises should learn more about the standards, policies, regulations and rules in emerging markets, which are different from those in Europe and the United States.

Experts have said that the Chinese government should set up a series of mechanisms to ensure the legal rights and interests of domestic enterprises operating internationally.

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