China says exports to fully recover in 2-3 years
BEIJING: China said Saturday it could take up to three years for its exports to return to pre-financial crisis levels, as the Asian powerhouse shifted its focus to domestic demand.
"Our exports have just started growing again," commerce minister Chen Deming told reporters on the second day of the National People's Congress, the annual parliamentary session.
"We will need two to three years (for exports) to get back to 2008 levels."
China's exports were hit hard by the international financial crisis from the autumn of 2008, when worldwide demand dropped off.
Beijing announced a massive four-trillion-yuan (586-billion-dollar) stimulus package at the end of 2008, with much of the money targeted at large infrastructure and other projects aimed at boosting domestic demand.
Political leaders have called for more domestic consumption in part to lessen the economy's reliance on exports.
In 2009, exports fell 16 percent from the previous year to 1.2 trillion dollars, while imports dropped 11.2 percent to 1 trillion dollars.
December saw a return to export growth after 13 straight months of decline and China has now taken over from Germany to become the top global exporter.