BEIJING: China's share of global trade rose to 7.7% in 2007, up from 0.8% back in 1978. Its share of worldwide exports also increased to 8.8% last year, second only to Germany on this measure, according to figures released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics.

In terms of total national trade volumes, China is now ranked third behind the US and Germany, compared with a position of 29th in 1978, when its economic liberalisation programme began.

The National Bureau of Statistics reports that the country's trade volume has grown by an average of 17.4% each year since then, from an overall value of $20 billion (€15.9bn; £12.7m) in 1978 to $2.17 trillion last year.

Trade accounted for 66.8% of China's GDP in 2007 – compared with 9.7% in 1978 – while overseas investment in the country also climbed to a total of $18.7bn for last year as a whole.

China's exports have also seen their value shoot upwards from $9.8bn in 1978 to $1.2 trillion in 2007, while the cost of imports has grown from $10.9bn to $956bn over the same period.

Industrial products now account for 94.9% of all Chinese exports, with primary products (such as raw materials and crops) taking just 5.1%, down from 50.3% three decades ago.

Data sourced from People's Daily Online and Xinhua (China); additional content by WARC staff