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China's foreign trade remains grim despite positive signs: MOC

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BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Despite quicker growth in previous months, China's foreign trade situation remains grim and uncertain, as overseas demand has not fully recovered, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

Experts expect that the overall situation will be better than that of last year and it is hoped that the government's foreign trade growth target of 8 percent will be met this year, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference.

Although there has been positive momentum, Shen said pressure from domestic and overseas markets has not been fundamentally relieved.

Demand remains weak, he noted, warning that global systematic risks still exist.

The International Monetary Fund has lowered the estimated growth of the global economy in 2013 to 3.3 percent. The World Trade Organization also cut its expectation for global trade growth to 3.3 percent for the year.

Domestically, exporters and importers have to cope with rising labor and land costs, as well as more pressure from a stronger yuan, he said.

China's exports and imports grew 15.7 percent year on year in April, faster than the 12.1-percent increase recorded in March, due to a low base figure from the same period last year.

Foreign trade in some regions posted higher-than-expected growth with both reasonable causes and some abnormal causes that are under investigation, he noted.

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