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China’s Global Trade Started Strong in 2022 But the Outlook Looks Grim

Powered by a new Asian regional free trade deal and new rail links with its Southeast Asian neighbors, China clocked an impressive 10.7% increase in first-quarter global trade compared to the same time last year, according to new Chinese customs data.

Southeast Asia carried over from 2021 to remain China’s largest regional trade partner with a combined $212 billion in two-way trade (+8.4%) that was facilitated in part by the new China-Laos railway and the opening of the land-sea corridor with neighboring Myanmar.

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