China's commerce ministry said Wednesday the nation's foreign trade was due to grow at an annual rate of 10 percent to reach $4.8 trillion by 2015, as it issued development goals for the next four years. The prediction comes as authorities in the world's second largest economy try to shore up domestic demand as crises in the United States and Europe impact the export-dependent Asian powerhouse. "Annual growth in imports and exports of goods will be around 10 percent, and will reach $4.8 trillion in 2015," the ministry said in a statement. This compares with the $2.97 trillion-worth of foreign trade recorded in 2010, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, quoting official data. Retail sales, meanwhile, will grow around 15 percent annually to reach 32 trillion yuan ($5.1 trillion), the commerce ministry said. The predictions come after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned of a difficult start to 2012, amid rising concerns over a sharp economic slowdown in China. The country's economy has been affected by a slowdown in developed countries and a shift in China's own economic drivers in 2011, as the government shifts focus to domestic consumption to counter falling external demand. Beijing is anxious to prevent a sharp slowdown in the economy but at the same time wants to avoid reigniting inflation, which hit a more than three year high of 6.5 percent in July but has since slowed. In a bid to boost growth and counter economic turmoil in Europe and the United States, authorities in December cut the amount of money banks must hold in reserve for the first time in three years.