Part of the Studies on the Chinese Economy book series (STCE)


In 1978, on the eve of the economic reform era, largely reflecting the legacy of the policy of self-sufficiency pursued in the Maoist period, China was an insignificant player in international trade. Total trade was barely US$20 billion with almost half of the export volume of US$9.7 billion made up of petroleum and much of the rest of foodstuffs. Since then trade volumes have more than doubled every five years with the result that by the end of 1995 China was the world’s tenth largest international trader with its trade volume topping US$280 billion and exports exceeding US$148 billion. What was even more remarkable was that almost 85 per cent of this huge export volume was made up of manufactured and semi-manufactured goods.


Foreign Direct Invest Trade Volume Domestic Firm Export Volume Japanese Market 
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  1. 4.
    Asian Development Bank, (1995) Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries, XXVI, pp 118–9; Ibid., 1996.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    East Asia Analytical Unit, Overseas Chinese Business Networks in Asia, pp 198–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Thomas Chan, Noel Tracy and Zhu Wenhui 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong
  2. 2.International Relations and Political EconomyFlinders University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.China Business CentreHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong

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