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China's import value booms during last decade: minister

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SHANGHAI, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's import scale expanded 22 percent as an annual average during the last decade, Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said at the China Import Forum 2012 on Friday, adding that there is great potential for further growth ahead.

From 2002 to 2011, China's annual import value jumped from 295.3 billion U.S. dollars to 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars, taking up to 9.5 percent of the world's total imports value, a sharp increase from the 4.4 percent recorded in 2002, according to Zhong.

As the second-biggest importer worldwide, China is the third-biggest export destination for U.S. products and the EU's second-largest export market.

In the first 10 months of this year, China's imports totaled 1.49 trillion U.S. dollars, up 4.6 percent from the same period last year. The growth pace was slower than the previous years mainly because China eased its pace on economic growth and the prices of major international commodities dropped, said Zhong.

China has great potential for import growth despite the drops in the first 10 months as strengthening the import sector has became a long-term strategy of Chinese foreign trade, he added.

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