A look at China’s trade relationship with its 14 neighbor countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.
As the largest trading nation in Asia, China has significant trade relationships with several of its 14 neighboring countries.
In 2020, China’s foreign trade volume was worth US$4.65 trillion, an increase of 1.5 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs. Exports grew by 3.6 percent for a total of US$2.59 trillion, while imports fell by 1.1 percent to just over US$2 trillion. Overall, China registered a trade surplus of US$535 billion.
With its neighbors, China’s total imports and exports are worth about US$288.4 billion. Among China’s neighbors, Vietnam (US$182.4 billion) has the largest trade volume, followed by Russia (US$105.1 billion), and India (US$84.1 billion).
Conversely, China has relatively low trade exposure with Bhutan (US$2.4 million), Afghanistan (US$533.2 million), and North Korea (US$534.4 million).
China has a trade surplus with 11 out of its 14 neighbors; Laos, Mongolia, and Russia are the only exceptions. China’s imports from these countries are dominated by natural resources, such as gas, oil, and ores. Exports from China, on the other hand, tend to consist of products like electronics, machines, and equipment.
China has free trade agreements with four of its neighbors: Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam under the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement.
The following is a snapshot of China’s trade relations with its neighboring countries in 2020. All trade data is sourced from the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Total trade: US$533.2 million
Applicable FTAs: N/A
Double taxation agreement: No
Exports: US$479 million
Imports: US$54.2 million
Total trade: US$2.4 million
Exports: US$2.4 million
Total trade: US$84.1 billion
Double taxation agreement: Yes
Exports: US$63.8 billion
Imports: US$20.3 billion
Total trade: US$19.7 billion
Exports: US$10.5 billion
Imports: US$9.2 billion
Total trade: US$2.78 billion
Exports: US$2.75 billion
Imports: US$33.2 million
Total trade: US$3.5 billion
Applicable FTAs: China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement; Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
Exports: US$1.43 billion
Imports: US$2.04 billion
Total trade: US$18.24 billion
Exports: US$12.2 billion
Imports: US$6.04 billion
Total trade: US$6.49 billion
Exports: US$1.53 billion
Imports: US$4.96 billion
Total trade: US$1.14 billion
Exports: US$1.12 billion
Imports: US$16.2 million
Total trade: US$534.4 million
Exports: US$491 million
Imports: US$43.4 million
Total trade: US$16.7 billion
Applicable FTA: China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement
Exports: US$14.6 billion
Imports: US$2.1 billion
Total trade: US$105.1 billion
Exports: US$48.4 billion
Imports: US$56.7 billion
Total trade: US$911.1 million
Exports: US$869 million
Imports: US$42.1 million
Total trade: US$182.4 billion
Exports: US$107 billion
Imports: US$75.4 billion
China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, and Russia, in addition to our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative. We also have partner firms assisting foreign investors in The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh.
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