Imports and exports in South China’s Guangdong province have witnessed signs of growth since February, when many foreign trade companies have resumed production, according to a statement released by Guangdong Customs on Friday.

Guangdong, China’s biggest foreign trader for decades, witnessed an import and export trade volume reduction of 15.2 percent due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the first two months this year, the statement said.

The province, window of China’s reform and opening-up, reached a foreign trade volume of 842.75 billion yuan ($122.14 billion) in January and February, representing 20.4 percent of the country’s total. Guangdong imported 353.38 billion worth of products from abroad, a year-on-year reduction of 11.8 percent, while exports came to 490.37 billion yuan, a reduction of 17.5 percent, in the first two months of the year.

But the foreign trade industry in the province has gradually returned to normal since February, after more than 37,000 foreign trade companies have restored production. The foreign trade companies that have resumed production since February made up 80.7 percent of the total recorded in the same period of 2019.

Guangdong’s imports witnessed a positive growth for the month, with 48.1 percent increase in consumer goods and 77.4 percent growth in pharmaceutical products last month, the statement said.

Meanwhile imports of bulk commodities, including metal mines, coals and crude oils increased significantly as domestic demands for these bulk commodities remained strong.

The province imported 5.88 billion yuan, 4.47 billion yuan and 3.63 billion yuan worth of metallic ore and mineral sands, coals and crude oils in the two months ending February, with a year-on-year increase of 17.6 percent, 72.1 percent and 21.7percent respectively, indicating Guangdong’s current industrial demand is still very strong and would provide strong support for the comprehensive economic recovery of the province in the coming months.

And Guangdong’s imports and exports of cross-border e-commerce reached 7.95 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 33.4 percent, coming first in the country, the statement said.

The current transient epidemic outbreak will not prevent the long-term development of Guangdong’s foreign trade industry.

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