Beijing: China, the world's largest exporter, has set eight percent growth target for its foreign trade for 2013 amid slow recovery of the world economy and "rising trade protectionism".
The targeted foreign trade growth for the world's second- largest economy is higher than 6. 2 percent growth posted last year but lower than 10 percent target in 2012.
China's foreign trade touched USD 3.87 trillion in the face of world economic stagnation and weak external demand, according to a policy document of China's National Development and Reforms Commission, (NDRC), the nodal planning of body of the country.
Exports grew by 7.9 percent and imports by 4.3 percent resulting in trade surplus of USD 231.1 billion, the document tabled in Chinese legislature the National People's Congress, (NPC) said.
Last year's foreign trade growth was considerably lower than the 10 percent targeted earlier by the government.
"China's export prospects remain grim. World economic growth will continue to be slow. Overall demand of major economies will remain weak. All forms of protectionism are clearly reasserting themselves," it said.
Although exports growth slowed sharply to 7.9 percent in 2012 from 20.3 percent recorded in previous year to USD 20.5 trillion, that was good enough for China to secure its position as the world's largest exporter.
Also, imports grew by only 4.3 percent last year, compared with a 24.9 percent increase in 2011, making China the second-largest importer.
According to the report, China will accelerate development of trade in services, further improve the structure of foreign investment utilisation and steadily increase China's outward investment.
On the FDI front, China attracted USD 111.7 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in non-financial sectors last year, down 3.7 percent year-on-year.
However, China's non-financial outward direct investment (ODI) surged to 28.6 percent to USD 77.2 billion as Chinese investment increased abroad.
Non-financial FDI is expected to rose 1.2 percent to reach USD 113 billion in 2013, while China's non-financial ODI is forecast to jump 15 percent to hit USD 88.7 billion, the report said.