* China trade official says not to change pro-export policies
* Vice trade minister says will decide yuan on domestic needs (Add quotes, details)
BEIJING, April 2 (Reuters) – China will not abandon policies designed to promote exports but will increase imports and stockpiles of strategic resources, Vice-Commerce Minister Chen Jian told a forum on Friday.
“China will not change its pro-export policies,” he said.
Asked about whether China will change policy on the yuan CNY=CFXS, Chen said: “China will make yuan decisions in a responsible manner according to our own economic situation.”
He said China’s yuan should not be blamed for global imbalance.
“It is not appropriate to talk too much about the exchange rate issue,” he said.
Chen made the comments when tensions between Washington and Beijing over the yuan issue are likely to ease. [ID:nSGE63100G]
Chen’s ministry has expressed concerns that any yuan rise may give Chinese exporters a heavy blow as most exporters operate on thin profit margins and do not have enough tools to hedge currency risks.
China’s “stress test” in its labour-intensive export sectors found that yuan appreciation would seriously reduce exporters’ profits, the Economic Information Daily reported.
Chen said the yuan stress test did not mean Beijing was ready to make any policy changes.
He added that China was likely to book its first trade deficit in March since April 2004 due to a surge in imports.
As for the retreat of Google Inc (GOOG.O) from China and the conviction of four Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) employees, Chen said the two cases will not change China’s investment environment for foreign investors. (Reporting by Langi Chiang and Alan Wheatley; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Benjamin Kang Lim)