China said Wednesday it faced "enormous difficulties" in meeting its trade targets for this year, as the world's second-largest economy struggles amid a stubborn slowdown in global growth.
China's economic growth weakened to an expansion of 7.6 percent in the second quarter through the end of June. The result marked the sixth straight quarter of weakening growth.
Data for July and August, including export statistics, have remained weak, as uncertainty in Europe over ongoing debt crisis and weakness in the United States weigh on the rest of the world.
"We still have to try hard to achieve the work targets set at the beginning of the year, although we face enormous difficulties", Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters at monthly briefing.
"As the world economy is still under downward pressure, foreign demand in the coming months is likely to get even weaker than ... what we had in the first eight months of the year", he added.
China said earlier this month that the country's total trade -- exports and imports combined -- rose by an annual 6.2 percent in the first eight months of this year, official figures showed.
That is below the target set earlier this year that aimed to maintain 10 percent annual growth in foreign trade in 2012.
Exports in the month of August rose just 2.7 percent year-on-year to $178 billion, while imports fell 2.6 percent to $151.3 billion.
The government said last week it approved a package of measures aimed at boosting exports to "stabilise" foreign trade.
The State Council, or cabinet, said measures would include speeding up payment of tax rebates to exporters, encourage commercial banks to increase lending to qualified exporters and simplify customs procedures, among other measures.
"We believe these measures will help stabilise growth in foreign trade", Shen said.
China this year has also taken steps to stimulate growth by cutting interest rates twice in quick succession and slashing the amount of funds banks must keep in reserve as ways to encourage lending.