BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), which opened here on Thursday as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated China's determination to promote innovative development and high-level opening-up, overseas experts and scholars have said.
With more than 10,000 enterprises from 153 countries and regions signing up for participation, the trade fair also gives a boost to global confidence and injects impetus into the post-pandemic economic recovery, according to the pundits.
At this year's CIFTIS, China unveiled a slew of new measures to facilitate trade in services, which is "a reiteration of China's continuation of goodwill and willingness to work hand in hand with the rest of the world in a win-win situation," said Dr. Stella Mackenzie, a senior lecturer of the Faculty of Economics and Business Development at the University of Botswana.
Among the measures, China will open up at a higher level by implementing across the country a negative list for cross-border services trade and exploring the development of national demonstration zones for the innovative development of trade in services.
The country will also scale up support for the growth of the services sector in the Belt and Road partner countries and share China's technological achievements with the rest of the world.
China's efforts will definitely help Botswana to emerge from the economic doldrums caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mackenzie said, noting the southern African country can benefit a lot through cooperation with China in various sectors.
China also decided to set up a new stock exchange in Beijing, building it into a primary platform serving innovation-oriented small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs).
"Such a reform will allow many SMEs to access new financing by being listed on the Beijing Stock Exchange. China's efforts to expand its openness through the CIFTIS will promote the recovery of the global economy," French writer and sinologist Sonia Bressler told Xinhua.
Her opinion was echoed by Lawrence Loh, a professor of the Business School at the National University of Singapore, who stressed the importance to develop strong domestic capital market and cater to a broad spectrum of companies -- particularly SMEs.
The connection to international trade will activate a crucial synergy with global progress, especially during this difficult pandemic time, Loh added.
In essence, the new measures announced at the CIFTIS would "definitely further the achievement of China's national common prosperity intention," said the economist.
Themed "Towards Digital Future and Service-driven Development," the CIFTIS this year will run through Sept. 7 while featuring a section for digital services for the first time. Among the registered enterprises, 2,400 firms will showcase their products and services offline.
This is "timely as the world economy is increasingly becoming technology and services-driven," said Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, noting that the southeastern African nation stands ready to strengthen international cooperation in trade in services and will unleash more potential under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Organizing such a fair against the backdrop of the ravaging pandemic has illustrated China's continued commitment to partnering with other countries to promote global trade in services and further facilitate global economic recovery, Mnangagwa said, while inviting investments from China to contribute to his country's industrialization and modernization. Enditem