China may achieve trade balance with its top trading partners by next year, as its exports are likely to be hit due to falling demand in the US and the EU, while its imports rise, says an official from China's top think tank.
"Next year will be a critical period for China's trade, as the ongoing debt crisis in the EU and US reduces their demand while yuan appreciation and ever-increasing trade protectionism hit China's exports," said Wei Jianguo, secretary-general of China Center for International Economic Exchange on the sidelines of the 7th Beijing-Tokyo Forum to China Daily.
Wei, also former deputy commerce minister, said, while China's exports to emerging economies grow rapidly, they account for just one third of those lost to developed economies,
"With exports declining next year and imports picking up, China may achieve a trade balance," he added.
He forecast China's trade surplus would decrease to less than $100 billion for 2011 from last year's $183 billion.
Wei estimates that the annual rate of export growth to EU countries may decrease to 10 per cent for 2011.