BEIJING, April 22(Xinhuanet)-- China and Japan have enjoyed rapid development of economic and trade relations since China began its reform and opening up more than 20 years ago, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai in a recent interview.
When asked to comment on the current situation of Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations, Bo told local press that benefits of the economic and trade cooperation between China and Japan, in general, is balanced to both sides.
Thanks to such mutual benefits, Sino-Japanese economic and trade ties have witnessed quiet and substantial progress for more than 20 years. This has brought concrete advantages for the peopleboth countries, Bo noted.
According to Bo, economic and trade relations with Japan, the United States and the European Union have composed three major parts of China's foreign trade. Bilateral trade volume between China and the three regions exceeded 160 billion US dollars last year.
"Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations is crucial not onlyfor the two countries, but also influential for Asia and the worldat large," he acknowledged.
China and Japan normalized bilateral relations in 1972. Bo saidthe bilateral trade volume nowadays has risen by 160 fold from that 33 years ago.
China and Japan have become the largest import countries of origin for each other, he added. Japan is China's third largest export market, and China is Japan's second largest export market.
Both sides also make wide cooperation in such fields as science,technology, education and tourism, he said.
The rapid development and scales gradually formed in the past over 20 years of Sino-Japanese economic and trade cooperation are rare even in the world's economic history, Bo said, noting this fact itself proves the strong complementarity between Chinese and Japanese economy.
Bo said in a certain sense, such complementarity is decided by differences between the two countries' economic structure. China and Japan are close neighbors with similar culture, and also sharedisparities as well, so the two sides could supply each other's needs.
As to the structure of essential factors of production, Bo saidJapan's funds and technology is needed for China's economic growth. Japan has become China's third largest source of attracting foreign investment. Japan is also a major source of China to import technology, ranking into first three places in recent year.
Meanwhile, he noted China's huge market, thriving business opportunities, rich labor and intellectual resources are also especially helpful for Japan's economic growth.
Statistics from the Japanese side show that Japan has increasedexport to China by a big margin in recent years, and China has become Japan's export market with the fastest growth.
On the mix of import and export goods, Bo said, China's such export products to Japan as mining products, agricultural produce and textile, enjoy obvious advantages. All these above-mentioned goods accounted for over 43 percent of total export amounts to Japan last year.
Bo went on to say that China mainly imports products intensive in capital and technology from Japan, such as information technology(IT) products and mechanical equipment. In 2004, China imported Japanese mechanical and electrical products with a value of 65.1 billion US dollars, or 69 percent of total import amounts from Japan. Among these products, high-new-tech products with a value of 29.8 billion US dollars accounted for 32 percent of totalimport amounts.
"Facts have proved that Japan's economic recovery, to great extent, is benefited from economic and trade cooperation with China," Bo said, noting that economic and trade cooperation with Japan also plays a positive role in China's industrial restructuring and employment expansion.
"Sino-Japanese economic and trade cooperation is conducive for the two sides to make up deficiencies, to complement each other in advantages, and to achieve common development," Bo said. Enditem