Ten years have elapsed since the Chinese government adopted a policy of open orientation towards the world economy. During that period a sea change in its export sector has taken place. In striking contrast to their slow pace in the 1960s and 1970s, China’s exports experienced a five-fold increase between 1978 and 1988. The Chinese ratio of export to GNP also rose to a level well within the normal range for large countries. This high rate of export growth was of great help in boosting China’s foreign exchange reserve holdings to $17.5 billion by the end of 1988, the eighth largest in the world (calculated from IMF:IFS, Yearbook, 1989). As the share of agricultural output declined, the export of manufactured goods gained dominance. In addition, while state trading corporations no longer monopolised China’s exports, local enterprises were allowed to handle international business on a greater scale. Virtually the entire eastern coast of China exhibited an export-oriented economy. Indeed the Chinese export trade has performed to a degree that most observers, Chinese and foreign alike, did not believe possible a decade ago.
KeywordsWorld Economy World Market Export Growth Export Sector Manufacture Export
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