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China strives to maintain steady foreign trade growth

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BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China will endeavor to maintain steady growth in foreign trade though it is hard for the country to meet its 10-percent export growth target this year due to weak external demand, a foreign trade official said Tuesday.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang made the remarks Tuesday at a regular press briefing, where he attributed China's flagging exports on sluggish demand from its major trade partners, especially the European Union (EU) and Japan.

"It's difficult to predict the export growth for the entire year, but we will try our best to maintain steady growth in foreign trade," Shen said.

According to the General Administration of Customs, China's trade volume with the EU fell 3 percent year on year to 452.83 billion U.S. dollars in the first ten months. Trade with Japan declined 2.1 percent from one year earlier to 275.47 billion U.S. dollars.

Slack external demand, coupled with slowing property investment, has dragged China's economic growth rate to 7.4 percent in the July-September period. This is the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009.

However, China's trade growth outpaced the world average and its share in global trade is likely to exceed 10.4 percent in 2012, according to Shen.

In the first ten months, the country's foreign trade volume expanded 6.3 percent from the same period last year with exports rising 7.8 percent.

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