Business / Macro

China's foreign service trade continues to grow

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-19 10:16

BEIJING - China's foreign service trade maintained rapid growth in the first eight months of the year, with an expanding deficit, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Tuesday.

Service trade rose 24 percent year on year to 3.5 trillion yuan ($515.2 billion) in the January-August period, extending the trend of double-digit growth seen since the beginning of the year, MOC spokesperson Shen Danyang told a press conference.

Services accounted for 18.1 percent of China's overall foreign trade as of the end of August, up 2.7 percentage points from a year earlier, Shen said.

Distinct from merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

China is endeavoring to shift its economic structure so that it is more consumption and service driven, instead of relying on investment and industrial production. The service sector now accounts for more than half of the national economy.

In the first eight months, service exports climbed 11.2 percent year on year to 1.2 trillion yuan, while imports soared 31.9 percent to 2.3 trillion yuan, Shen said.

A near 50 percent surge in imports of travelling services led to a 1.1 trillion-yuan service trade deficit, which was up 277.3 billion yuan from the same period last year, Shen said.

As the country adjusted the structure of its foreign service trade to make it based more on sophisticated exports, exports of computing, technology and advertising services all posted marked growth, rising 22.7 percent, 58 percent and 71 percent year on year, respectively.

China's foreign service trade volume grew from $362.4 billion in 2011 to $713 billion in 2015, doubling the average international growth rate, earlier data showed.

The country has set the target of lifting its service trade to over $1 trillion by 2020.

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