Containers stacked at a port in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on April 14, 2020. Photo: AFP/STR

The Chinese government says it is setting up an open and transparent public procurement system and trying to integrate into the international public procurement market.

“Engaging in the huge market of international public procurement will help enterprises make full use of both domestic and international markets and resources, and strengthen cooperation with countries, regions, and international organisations,” Zhang Shaogang, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said while addressing a forum at the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

More than 7,000 Chinese suppliers have registered at the Basic Level for the United Nations (UN), making China second in the world in terms of the number of such suppliers, said Zhang, adding that there is still great potential for their participation in UN procurement opportunities.

Zhang called for a better introduction to the rules and processes to encourage enterprises to take part in international public procurement, establishing platforms for Chinese enterprises to communicate with international organizations for cooperation and making concerted efforts to enhance transparency, openness and to make an impact in international public procurement.

Belt and Road countries

China’s digital trade with countries along the Belt and Road has maintained strong momentum in recent years, as the sector continues to hold huge potential, according to a report jointly published by the Publishing House of Electronics Industry, China Academy of Industrial Internet and the Chinese Institute of Electronics.

The report, which reviewed China’s digital trade with more than 30 countries along the Belt and Road, takes into account six indices – digital trade ties, potential, foundation, environment, risks and levels – to evaluate the development and potential of trade with these countries.

Seven of the top 10 countries in terms of the comprehensive index are from Asia, with five being ASEAN countries. The indices for India, Israel, Iran and Serbia have maintained an upward trend for five consecutive years, while that for Singapore and Turkey registered an annual growth of 19% and 11% respectively in 2018.

Consumer price index

The year-on-year growth of China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, was 2.4% in August, down from 2.7% in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

The CPI growth moderated as food prices rose slowly, with the year-on-year growth in pork prices sharply down 33.1% points from a month earlier to 52.6% in August due to a high base last year, the NBS said.

The rise in non-food prices, meanwhile, sped up last month as the summer vacation boosted the demand for travel. The month-on-month growth in non-food prices rose by 0.1% in August, the first time for the reading to turn positive after the Covid-19 outbreak, the bureau said.

The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.5% year-on-year last month, the same as July.

The NBS also reported the country’s producer price index (PPI), which gauges factory-gate prices, fell 2% year-on-year in August. China recorded a 2.4% year-on-year decline in July.

Company news

First Automotive Works (FAW) Group, a Chinese automaker, sold 314,454 vehicles in August, up 14% year on year. The company’s iconic sedan brand Hongqi sold 21,020 vehicles last month, an increase of 109.8% year on year.

The group’s joint ventures, FAW-Volkswagen and FAW Toyota, reported sales growth of 7.8% and 17.2% in August, respectively. Jiefang, a truck subsidiary of FAW, sold more than 36,000 units in the month, surging over 60% year on year. FAW sold more than 1.63 million vehicles in the first half of 2020, up 2.3% year on year.

Guangzhou Automobile Group, another Chinese automaker, reported a sustained sales recovery in August despite the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. It sold 180,600 vehicles last month, a year-on-year increase of 11.64%.

During the January-August period, its automobile sales declined 9.87% year on year to nearly 1.19 million units due to the weaker auto market during the Covid-19 epidemic earlier this year.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at ATimesCN.com. They were translated by Nadeem Xu.

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