China’s trade in climate smart goods: an analysis of trends and trading patterns

  • Received July 16, 2018;
    Accepted August 27, 2018;
    Published August 29, 2018
  • Author(s)
  • DOI
    http://dx.doi.org/10.21511/ee.09(3).2018.02
  • Article Info
    Volume 9 2018, Issue #3, pp. 12-22
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Trade and investment have positive effects on economic growth and development, especially for developing countries, where trade openness could play a crucial role to eliminate poverty. But in the same way trade and investment can also harm the environment by producing GHG, pollutions and other environmental negative externalities. Since economic development, trade and environment are elaborately interconnected, it is indispensable to amalgamate environmentally affiliated issues on the development agenda. With expansion of economic activities and trade on the one hand and consequent threats to the environment on the other, the question of environment-friendly trade has emerged as a serious policy agenda in recent years. In that context, trade in climate smart goods (CSGs) is assumed to play a significant role in promoting sustainable development pathway. Given that China’s global trade is expanding at an unprecedented scale, the present paper is designed to analyze the trends and trading patterns of China’s trade in CSGs with the rest of the world. Based on the collected data covering the period of 1992 to 2016 from UN Comtrade, the analyses indicate that total trade in CSGs by China has been increasing, but its share in total trade volume is still very low. It is understood that China’s exports and imports of CSGs are dominated by a few products, namely photosensitive semiconductor devices (854,140), static converters (850,440), articles of plastic and arts of other material (392,690), photovoltaic system controller (853,710), discharge lamps, fluorescent (853,931), parts of electric motors, generators, generating sets and rotary converters (850,300), machine and mechanical appliance (847,989), other lead-acid accumulators (850,720), prism, mirrors and other optical elements unmounted (900,190), cooking appliances and plate warmers (732,111), gears and gearing, other than toothed wheels (848,340), other machinery, plant and equipment (841,989), filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for gases (842,139), etc. While the major trading partners of China for CSGs are the USA, Japan, India, Malaysia, Germany, Korea Republic, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Russia, Brazil, Australia, Pakistan, Israel, among others.

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    • Fig. 1. Total trade and total CSGs trade in China (USD mln)
    • Fig. 2. China’s export values with the rest of the world (USD mln)
    • Fig. 3. China’s import values with the rest of the world (USD mln)
    • Fig. 4. A comparison of China’s total trade with trade in CSGs (USD mln)
    • Fig. 5. Export and import values of the top ten CSGs by China (USD thousand)
    • Fig. 6. Year-wise export values (in thousand, USD) of the top ten CSGs by China (1992 to 2016)
    • Fig. 7. Year-wise import values (in thousand, USD) of the top ten CSGs by China (1992 to 2016)
    • Fig. 8. Comparison between total CSGs EX-IM Values and top ten CSGs EX-IM values (in thousand, USD) in China for the study period
    • Table 1. China’s total trade and trade in climate smart goods (USD mln)
    • Table 2. China’s trade balance with the rest of the world (USD mln)