Service trade fair can help boost global economy
That China has been making painstaking efforts to revitalize international trade and share with other countries its development dividends to help the global economy overcome the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was again evidenced in the opening of the China International Fair for Trade in Services on Friday.
The trade fair in Beijing, the first major international trade event offline since the outbreak of the pandemic, has attracted thousands of companies from around the world reflecting China's success in containing the pandemic and its willingness to help other countries and regions surmount their economic woes through strengthening trade and economic exchanges.
The pandemic brought global trade and economic activities almost to a halt, with leading economists forecasting a sharp contraction in global trade and economic growth this year.
Yet China, having virtually contained the epidemic, has managed to resume production and other economic activities, and is focusing on a "dual circulation" development pattern, which is centered on the domestic economy ("internal circulation") and aims to integrate the domestic economy with the global economy ("external circulation").
The boosting of domestic demand to accelerate "internal circulation" will not only advance China's overall economic growth, but also create a bigger market for goods and services from other countries, which will help revive the world economy. In fact, to inject new vitality into the global economy, China has decided to hold three major international trade fairs－the others being the China Import and Export Fair and the China International Import Expo.
The three events will send a clear signal that China champions economic globalization and multilateralism despite some major economies resorting to trade protectionism and unilateralism. For only free and fair trade and economic exchanges can lead to common development, which in turn will reinforce the global will to fight protectionism.
The global economy may have been facing strong headwinds, but no country can achieve sustainable growth without engaging in trade and other exchanges with other countries.
As President Xi Jinping said in his speech to the Global Trade in Services Summit of CIFTIS via video on Friday, all countries have to "work together to overcome the difficulties the world is facing in order to propel the growth of global service trade and quick recovery of the world economy". He added that China supports the establishment of an alliance promoting global trade in services.
Indeed, as its economy grows, China will make greater efforts, along with other countries, to build a more interconnected and prosperous world. For instance, from 2018 to 2022, China is expected to import services worth $2.5 trillion and thus contribute to more than 20 percent of global service import growth, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
And the negative list for cross-border trade in services China will release later this year will promote the institutional opening up of the services sector to the outside world, allowing foreign players to tap the domestic services market.