China has become the world’s largest export production platform and is now the hub of an intensified regional segmentation of production processes, as evidenced by the surge of intra-Asian trade in parts and components. However, Asian exports of final goods still heavily depend on markets outside the region. Also, the unit values of China’s exports and imports show the limits its price competitiveness. China is exporting standardized goods subject to stiff price competition and which incorporate more and more sophisticated inputs. This trend, combined with the rise in world prices for primary products, is strongly deteriorating China’s terms of trade. This is one of the adverse effects of an outward-oriented and extensive growth strategy that is now being criticized openly even in China.
International trade; regional integration; competitiveness; growth
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