Recently, the China Customs magazine, sponsored by the General Administration of Customs, released the list of “China’s Top 100 Cities for Foreign Trade” in 2019, on which Qingdao, a major city in eastern Shandong province, ranked 10th, five places higher than in 2018.
The “China’s Top 100 Cities for Foreign Trade” list is a highly professional and authoritative one, which scores the comprehensive competitiveness of foreign trade of cities at prefecture-level and above, based on more than 20 indicators covering 5 aspects, namely the competitiveness of foreign trade level, structure, benefits, development and potential. The top 10 cities on the list in 2019 are Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Xiamen, Suzhou, Zhuhai, Ningbo, Chongqing and Qingdao.
According to the report, despite the multiple external pressures that China faced last year including weak global economic growth, complex international situations, and intensified economic and trade frictions, it has reached a new high in foreign trade and has seen its share increased, manifesting its strong resilience in economic development. In 2019, China's foreign trade increased by 3.5% year-on-year; its share of international trade increased by 0.2%, and its share of exports, by 0.4%. This would not have been possible without the hard work of every city, and the competition and coordination between cities and between regions.
With the in-depth advancement of international cooperation under the new platform of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the institutional innovation of the pilot free trade zone, as indicated in the statistics from Qingdao Customs, Qingdao’s total imports and exports in 2019 reached 592.56 billion yuan, an increase of 11.2%, which was 5.4 percentage points higher than the provincial growth rate and 7.8 percentage points higher than the national. The city, with its imports and exports value accounting for 29% of the province’s total, and its contribution to the province’s foreign trade growth reaching 54.1%, maintained its leading position in Shandong’s foreign trade.