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New China fund to guide trade in services

By Zhong Nan and Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-09 08:00

China last week launched its first national fund to guide efforts to boost the service trade, based on innovation and sustainable development, and to push economic transformation, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday.

The government-led fund aims at facilitating the transformation of China's foreign trade patterns and cultivating new growth momentum for the economy. Launched last Friday, the total fund size is 30 billion yuan ($4.62 billion) and has completed the first phase of fundraising.

The fund will focus on the areas listed in the Catalogue for Key Areas of Service Export and the Catalog for Key Development Areas in Service Outsourcing, both issued by the government in 2016, as well as other major businesses in the service trade.

Approved by the State Council, the fund is jointly established by the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance and Shenzhen-based China Merchants Capital Management Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Merchants Group. Under the plan, the central government will guide social capital to raise the fund.

Xian Guoyi, director-general of the Department of Trade in Service and Commercial Services at the Ministry of Commerce, said even though China had confronted protectionism in goods trade, especially in the second half of last year, service trade has become a strong driving force in pushing the country's economic upgrade.

"Foreign investors are also gradually quitting labor-intensive industries and shifting to services and technology-intensive industries in China," he said.

Trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, logistics, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

"The government has deployed more resources into improving the service sector, including measures to gradually open up the finance, education, culture and healthcare industries since last year," said Huo Jianguo, former president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

China will step up in supporting service trade businesses, build an effective cooperation mechanism and improve the use of resources, said Hu Jinglin, vice-minister of finance.

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