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Service trade to see boost at fair

A visitor interacts with a portable intelligent robot during the 2019 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on May 28, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The upcoming China International Fair for Trade in Service in September will bring new opportunity to China and the world economy amid the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as exploring new paths to the upgrading and development of the service trade, Beijing Daily reported on Wednesday.

During the past six years, the CIFTIS has attracted 184 countries and regions, nearly 300 international organizations and foreign trade associations and more than 10,000 enterprises to participate, and intended transactions reached $529.33 billion (3.69 trillion yuan).

The trade in services has become a new engine for world economic growth. From 2005 to 2017, the annual average growth of global trade in service was 5.4 percent, higher than the 4.6 percent growth of trade in goods. Moreover, the proportion of trade in service to global trade increased from 9 percent in 1970 to 20 percent at present, and the proportion is expected to reach one-third by 2040, said Beijing Daily, citing the World Trade Report 2019 released by World Trade Organization.

The WTO report said the trade in service may help the economy to realize fast development, reduce economic inequality, enhance enterprise competitiveness and promote inclusion in skills, gender and economies.

The emerging service and technical service trades dominate among trade in services, and the proportion of insurance and provision for the aged, finance, intellectual property, information technology service, entertainment and commercial services have been expanding for several consecutive years.

Asia is the fastest-growing major region in the world on service trade, and China has become an important growth driver, the report said.

Currently, China has 32 pilot areas to experiment with new measures to improve service trade business models, management, opening up and streamlined regulation, including ones in Shanghai, Hainan, Beijing and the Xiong’an New Area.

China’s trade in services grew from $654.2 billion in 2015 to $785 billion in 2019, with annual average growth hitting 4.7 percent, ranking second in the world. In addition, the proportion of trade in service to foreign trade rose from 11 percent in 2012 to 14.7 percent in 2018.

To promote a higher level of opening-up, the pilot program on the innovative development of trade in services will be expanded to cover parts of China’s 21 provincial regions, and explore widening the field of opening-up and improving trade facilitation, according to Xinhua’s report on July 29.

Although the COVID-19 epidemic has shocked the global industrial and supply chains, China’s trade in service has been stabilized by a series of policies and measures. Service trade totaled 2.2 trillion yuan during the January to June period, down 14.7 percent year-on-year. In addition, the service trade deficit narrowed by 46.1 percent from the same period last year to 401.7 billion yuan, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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