With ASEAN, that is. Xinhua Online reports:
China welcomes goods from ASEAN countries despite a trade deficit of 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2005, said Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai here on Tuesday.
"China's market is open, vast. The two-way trade is mutually beneficial," said Bo at the third China-ASEAN Expo that opened here on Tuesday. "I hope China's vast market could bring benefits to companies in ASEAN."
And they seem quite serious about it. Xinhua Online also reports on a proposed free trade pact.
China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are determined to establish a Free Trade Area (FTA) by 2010 as scheduled, according to a joint statement issued yesterday.
Meanwhile, China's economic growth is expected to slow further in the fourth quarter. Again from from Xinhua Online:
China's economic growth is expected to slow to 10 percent in the forth quarter, down from 11.3 percent in the second quarter and 10.4 percent in the third quarter, according to a joint study by the State Information Center (SIC) and the Shanghai Securities News.
"With the implementation of the state's macrocontrol policies and the further tightening of land and credit supply, the effect of the macro control measures will be further felt," said the study report, carried on Tuesday's Shanghai Securities News...
The study predicts that the growth for the whole year will be around 10.5 percent.
The IMF apparently agrees. From AFP/CNA:
The IMF notched up its 2006 economic growth forecast for China to over 10.5 percent, while urging the country to rein in excess investment and reform its currency regime.
"We would estimate that growth this year would probably be a little over 10.5 percent," the International Monetary Fund's mission chief for China, Steve Dunaway, told reporters on a conference call.