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Xi hails role of CIFTIS as key platform

By XU WEI, LIU ZHIHUA and ZHENG YIRAN | | Updated: 2022-08-31 22:09
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A staff member makes preparation for the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at Shougang Park in Beijing, capital of China, Aug 29, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping reaffirmed on Wednesday China's commitment to working with different nations in practicing true multilateralism and jointly promoting the growth of a service economy that is open and ensures shared benefits.

In a letter to congratulate the opening of the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, Xi said the nation stands ready to make joint efforts with different countries in upholding inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to inject impetus into the recovery of the global economy.

He highlighted the fair as a key platform for China to expand opening-up, deepen cooperation and lead the way for innovation, saying that it has made positive contributions to the growth of the global services sector and trade in services.

China has adhered to promoting high-quality development with high-level opening up, kept widening its market access in the services sector and lifted the level of opening-up for cross-border services trade, he said.

He added that the nation has expanded the functions of its opening-up platforms and striven to build a high-standard set of systems for the opening-up of the services sector.

Trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunication, advertising, computing and accounting, according to the World Trade Organization.

The nation's trade in services is expected to grow at a fast pace as the country continuously expands high-level opening-up and adopts more liberalization and facilitation measures in the sector, experts and business leaders said.

The fair, which will run until Monday, will stimulate global trade in services as it bridges supply and demand, helping to shore up the stalling world economy, they said.

China's service trade value grew 21.6 percent year-on-year to 2.89 trillion yuan ($420 billion) in the first half of 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Service exports expanded 24.6 percent year-on-year to 1.4 trillion yuan, and service imports were 1.49 trillion yuan, up 18.9 percent.

"The fair can substantially promote the development of the modern services industry and the structural upgrades of China's trade in services," said Jack Chan, chairman of EY China and regional managing partner of EY Greater China.

Driven by emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data and the internet of things, the tradability of services has been greatly improved, while market demand for high-quality services is also on the rise as new technologies and new business formats continue to grow, he said.

Li Jun, director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation's Institute of International Trade in Services, said the fair is an important platform demonstrating China's firm resolve and concrete actions in expanding high-level opening-up in trade in services, and will also showcase the latest trends in the sector, including digitalization and recovery and upgrades in the consumption sector.

Besides, as a global event, it also provides huge opportunities for enterprises from home and abroad to communicate and tap trade potential while promoting their brand images, he added.

"The fair has become a gala event for global trade in services over the years, and its level of internationalization has reached a new high," said Xia Chaoran, founder of Beijing-based medical technology company Sightnovo.

"Together with our partner Peking Union Medical College Hospital, we have brought to the fair our innovative, multidisciplinary ophthalmic precision medical devices, taking the great opportunity to demonstrate our products to potential clients at home and abroad," he added.

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