International trade in China – additional information
China surpassed the United States as the worlds’ largest goods trading economy in 2013. The total value of China’s imports and exports had amounted to around four trillion U.S. dollars in 2013, a 7.6 percent increase from a year earlier. As of 2013, China ranked second largest oil importer worldwide, only behind the United States. China has become a vital trade partner for many economies. In 2012, almost 20 percent of the United States’ imports had originated in China. Germany’s exportsto China exceeded exports to Italy in 2013, as was reported by the CIA.
A trade surplus occurs when exports of a country exceed its imports. It leads to a net inflow of domestic currency from foreign countries. The trade balance is a major growth factor for an economy. As a consequence of running a large trade surplus, China holds a vast amount of foreign exchange reserves. Foreign exchange reserves may be viewed as a sign of national strength, but also represent a form of forced savings on the people. China used to be the largest surplus economy in the world. However, it was replaced by Germany in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).