Global efforts to buoy services trade
China's sustained efforts to promote international trade in services will foster better relations between nations and promote a faster recovery of the global economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, a Commerce Ministry official said on Wednesday.
"China will work to optimize the mechanism to attract investment in the services sector and promote the creation of a global alliance for trade in services … the Ministry of Commerce will release the negative list for cross-border trade in services by the end of this year to support further opening-up in the sector," said Xian Guoyi, head of the department of trade in services and commercial services under the Ministry of Commerce.
Xian made the remarks during the closing ceremony of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services on Wednesday. The six-day fair, which was China's first major international offline trade event since the COVID-19 outbreak, saw over 240 deals being signed.
Projects related to the culture and creative sector in Chaoyang district of Beijing, valued at 13.3 billion yuan ($1.94 billion), were also inked during the CIFTIS. A total of 21 tourism-related projects, valued at 15.71 billion yuan, signed deals of intention at the World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development, one of the four summit forums held during the CIFTIS.
China will monitor the progress and implementation of the deals to ensure that the interests of the companies are protected in a fair manner. Steps will also be taken to further enhance the business environment in the country for international trade, Xian said.
During the CIFTIS, a total of 190 forums and meetings were held, and about 22,000 companies and organizations from 148 countries and regions participated in the online and offline sessions, said Yan Ligang, head of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau.
"The CIFTIS has showcased China's achievements in containing the pandemic and boosting economic development, as well as our commitment to further promote opening-up. It has also sent signals that China is committed to promoting economic globalization and deepening international cooperation in economy and trade," Xian said.
China has seen rapid development in services trade in recent years. In 2019, China's total trade in services surpassed 5.4 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
"Going forward, China will continue to deepen the opening-up in services trade by accelerating the setup of platforms for incubating (startups) and innovative development trial centers, the construction of comprehensive demonstration zones for the opening up of the services sector, the expansion of services export bases, and the development of emerging trade in services like digital trade," Xian said.
Douglas McWilliams, an economist at the UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research, told the Xinhua News Agency that services trade will account for an increasingly larger share of the overall global trade in the post-pandemic era.
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