The foreign trade value of Taiyuan city, capital of North China's Shanxi province, hit 121.15 billion yuan ($18.72 billion) in 2020, reaching a record high, according to an announcement from Taiyuan's commerce bureau on Jan 23.

The city's import and export volume represented year-on-year growth of 8.1 percent, and the growth rate ranked third in Shanxi province. In the past 12 months, Taiyuan's import and export value in December was 18.54 billion yuan, setting a record high for its monthly foreign trade value.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Taiyuan's commerce bureau implemented targeted policies to guarantee foreign trade entities, market share, export orders and the stability of the industrial chain to help companies relieve operational difficulties. As a result, the city's imports and exports quickly stabilized and continued to improve.

The structure of general trade and processing trade has shown promising growth. In the first 10 months of last year, the city's general foreign trade value amounted to 21.59 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of more than 10 percent, and its proportion of the total foreign trade value increased by 3.72 percent. 

The value of exported products continued to rise in 2020. The exports of mechanical and electrical products and high-tech products were 46.12 billion yuan and 42.99 billion yuan, an increase of 6.8 percent and 7.4 percent year-on-year, respectively. This indicates that the innovation ability of foreign trade companies in Taiyuan has been enhanced in the past year. 

Emerging trade patterns developed rapidly in the city last year, including cross-border direct-mail import and export, bonded import retail and overseas warehouse export. These trade patterns play a vital role in connecting domestic and international markets and stimulating the vitality of small-, medium- and micro-sized foreign trade businesses.