China has been serving as the fastest growing export destination of the United States for five consecutive years, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said Thursday.
China is expected to overtake Japan as the third largest export market of the United States at the end of this year or early next year, he said.
China's foreign trade volume reached 1.17 trillion U.S. dollars in the first seven months of 2007, an increase of 24.4 percent over the same period last year, according to customs sources.
The European Union remained China's largest partner with a trade value of 190.1 billion dollars, a growth of 28.5 percent over the same period of last year, followed by the United States with 167 billion dollars, up 17.5 percent, and Japan with 130 billion dollars, up 15.2 percent.
Trade between China and the United States surged to 262.7 billion dollars in 2006 from 2.5 billion dollars in 1979 with farm produces and machinery registering fast growth, according to Gao.
China stood as the United States' ninth largest export market in 2001 and the fourth one in 2005, while Canada served as United States' largest export market in 2006, followed by Mexico and Japan.
By 2006, the United States had set up more than 50,000 enterprises in China with investment totaling more than 54 billion dollars while China had built more than 1,100 enterprises in the United States with investment of nearly 3 billion dollars, Gao said.