Develop Foreign Trade To Support National Development
On January 1, 1961, as approved by the Ministry of Trade of Central Government, the company was renamed China National Chemicals Import & Export Co., Ltd.. From then on, the company was transformed into a specialized trading company, opening a new chapter of its business.
In 1960s-1970s, the company expanded its trade cooperation with the countries worldwide and grew into an import and export enterprise dedicated to petrochemical trade, importing high-demand materials to serve as one of the main forces for the development of China’s foreign trade, and making significant contributions to the construction of socialism.
By 1965, Sinochem had found trading partners in 90 countries and regions in terms of oil and chemical trade, its product varieties exported increasing from 30 to 300 and its export volume amounting to USD 80 million. As for import, the quantity of agricultural materials, organic chemical materials and plastics increased. The import quantity of fertilizer from 1958 through 1965 totaled 19.7 million tons, three times more than that of the whole 8 years prior to the first 5-year plan.
On June 12, 1965, the company was renamed China National Chemicals Import & Export Corp., which began to perform both specialized operations and industrial management related to import and export.
Oil trade has been playing an important role in Sinochem’s growth. In 1960s, in response to diplomatic needs of China, Sinochem began to export oil products and crude oil to Albania, North Korea and Vietnam. In 1973 and 1974, the first world oil crisis broke out. In accordance with the directions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the company successfully completed its political task of exporting oil to Japan, Philippine and Thailand, opening channels for exporting China’s crude oil resources. On May 12, 1973, Premier Zhou Enlai made a direction to the shipping exercise at Dalian Harbour for exporting crude oil to Japan:“This excising system shall be strictly followed. The practice of one-day work followed by ten-day rest is not allowed. I hereby expect that this can offer an encouragement for chemical import and export company”. Afterwards, Sinochem exported oil to Brazil, Singapore and USA, winning certain market share in international crude oil export market. This achievement earned a great amount of foreign exchange for China and extended China’s political influence and enhanced China’s international position.
In terms of chemical export, the export volume in 1973 exceeded USD 100 million and then came to USD 214 million in 1975, exporting over 400 kinds of products to more than 100 countries and regions. The majority of import was agricultural materials among which fertilizers and pesticides represented 70% of total import. From 1966 through 1975, 64.04 million tons of fertilizer, USD 330 million pesticides and 600 thousand tons of plastics were imported. In 1975, USD 1.16 billion products were imported from 32 countries and regions.
Great expansion of the scale of oil, fertilizer and chemical import and export operations resulted in a prompt growth of the company. In 1970s, Sinochem had become an important trader of oil and chemicals, throughout the world.