Large container ship arriving in port. Photo: iStock

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China will surpass the United States and become the largest importer in the world by 2020, said Liang Hong, the chief economist at China International Capital, one of the nation’s leading investment banking firms, Caixin reported.

Liang thinks the domestic consumption boom will boost China’s intake of more products. “China will not depend on iron ore, Boeing aircraft or sophisticated products to be the largest importer, but what people eat and drink,” Liang said. For example, 80% of China’s soybean relies on imports.

The US’s imports now total about US$1.8 trillion, while China’s total imports stand at US$1.5 trillion. 

The company has raised the GDP growth forecast to 6.9% for 2018, much higher than the consensus of market expectation.

The forecast is based on the boom of mass consumption, the growth of property investment driven by further urbanization and the increasing investment in manufacturing capacity.

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