Trade in services set to boom by 2010

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-12 09:29

China expects its trade in services to achieve robust growth by 2010, with annual increases of around 20 per cent expected over the next five years.

The Ministry of Commerce set the target in its 11th Five-Year Plan for the country's commerce development between 2006 and 2010, the first time the plan has highlighted this field.

The plan said service imports and exports would grow at an annual rate of 20 per cent to US$400 billion in 2010, while the structure of service exports would be improved.

A ministry official said China's trade in services lagged behind its trade partners when compared with its cargo trade.

China's trade in services only accounts for a quarter and less than half of the United States and Germany respectively, although China's cargo services account for 56 per cent of the United States' and 82 per cent of Germany's.

The official added that the country's current trade in services largely relies on traditional sectors, such as tourism and transportation services, which account for over half of the country's total service exports.

"So it is a new task for the country to promote and diversify the trade in services," he said.

In order to achieve the five-year target, the ministry will issue a detailed programme for the development of China's trade in services, while also conducting research and attracting more international service businesses to the country.

The plan also revealed that the country wants to achieve a balance in its foreign trade by 2010.

It said imports and exports are targeted to grow at around 10 per cent year-on-year over the next five years with total imports and exports hitting US$2.3 trillion in 2010. Imports and exports will realize a basic balance.