Official of the SAFE Answers Press Questions on External Debt Data as at the end of June 2017
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has recently disseminated China's external debt data as at the end of June 2017, and an official from the SAFE answered media questions on relevant issues regarding external debt.
Q: Could you brief us on China's external debt data for the second quarter of 2017?
A: China's external debt continued its stable growth in the second quarter of 2017. As at the end of June 2017, China's full-scale outstanding external debt registered USD 1.5628 trillion (in both domestic and foreign currencies), up by USD 125 billion or 8.7% quarter on quarter. The growth in external debt for the second quarter was attributed to the growth in banks' external debt. The rise in banks' outstanding external debt contributed nearly 70% of the growth in total outstanding external debt incurred by China, in that banks made full use of overseas low-cost funds to serve the development of foreign trade and the real economy, under the framework of macro-prudential policy management for cross-border financing.
Q: What would you say about China's external debt?
A: China has witnessed stable growth in external debt since the beginning of this year. Economically, China's overall economic performance is good, with its GDP for the first half rising by 6.9% year on year, and foreign trade growing by 19.6% year on year. There are also many other highlights in China's economic growth, which serve the bases for the continuous increase in external debt. Politically, the People's Bank of China, together with the SAFE, has further refined the macro-prudential management policy for full-scale cross-border financing, expanding the room for banks and enterprises to borrow external debt on their own, and reducing the financing costs for the real economy.
Overall, China's external debt boasts a solid economic foundation and is expected to continue growing steadily in the future. The SAFE will continue to watch out for the changes in China's external debt. While further boosting cross-border investment and financing facilitation, the SAFE will effectively guard against external debt risk and safeguard China's economic and financial stability.