Explainer: Why China's services trade fair is distinctive

Source: Xinhua| 2021-09-03 20:36:17|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) kicked off in Beijing Thursday, injecting fresh hope into the COVID-19-battered global economy still stumbling on its path to recovery.

As a massive exhibition and trading platform dedicated to trade in services, the CIFTIS has played an important role in boosting worldwide trade, gaining increasing popularity among global market players.

So far, the 2021 CIFTIS has attracted more than 12,000 enterprises, up 52 percent from that in 2020. Representatives from 153 countries and regions signed up for the event, compared to 148 last year.

Despite the ravaging pandemic, China overcame many difficulties and successfully organized the CIFTIS last year, making the fair the first major international economic and trade event since the outbreak. The move indicated China's willingness to join hands with the world to promote early recovery of the global economy.

Over the past year, a large chunk of the proposals made by China at 2020 CIFTIS has been implemented.

At a press conference last week, the country's commerce ministry said it has rolled out 36 detailed measures to implement what was proposed at last year's CIFTIS, with many seeing significant progress.

The country has witnessed a higher level of openness in its services sector. After the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China has promised to open up more than 120 services sectors, 22 more than it agreed to open upon accession to the World Trade Organization.

In July, China introduced its first negative list for cross-border trade in services at the Hainan free trade port, marking the highest level of opening-up in the cross-border services trade realm.

Statistics also captured the encouraging performance of the services industry in the country. In the first seven months of the year, China's services trade rose 7.3 percent year on year to nearly 2.81 trillion yuan (about 435.04 billion U.S. dollars).

Such upbeat data, in contrast with bleak global trade figures, point to trade opportunities in the country. For market players, there is more to expect as the world's second-largest economy makes new moves.

Catching the booming trend of digitalization of services trade, the 2021 CIFTIS features digital trade, tapping the potential of advanced digital technologies and functions.

In an effort to boost trade in digital services, the country for the first time included the burgeoning sector into the newly-formulated 14th five-year plan on the development of service trade.

With a view to opening up on a higher level, China announced a slew of new measures on the opening day of the CIFTIS, pledging to implement across the country a negative list for cross-border services trade, scale up support for the growth of the services sector in Belt and Road partner countries and share China's technological achievements with the rest of the world.

The significance of holding the services fair goes beyond doing business. It sends a clear signal by China: the country is open to embrace the world even during these unusual times of the pandemic, and ready to address common challenges facing the world with the "golden key" of peace, development and win-win cooperation. Enditem

KEY WORDS: China,Services trade,Opening,up