The 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) has made significant strides in expanding its international presence, offering promising glimpses into China’s economic landscape.
Spanning from Saturday to Wednesday, this year’s CIFTIS unfolded at the Beijing National Convention Center, attracting over 2,400 in-person exhibitors from 59 nations and 24 international organizations. Notably, this impressive gathering included more than 500 Fortune Global 500 companies and leading industry figures.
Robust Growth in the Service Trade Sector
The dynamic atmosphere at CIFTIS mirrors the remarkable resurgence and vast potential evident within China’s service trade sector. This sector has evolved into a critical driving force behind China’s economic growth, particularly through the revitalization of offline consumer activities.
The Ministry of Commerce has highlighted inbound and outbound travel services as the standout performers in the services trade. Wang Shouwen, China’s Vice Minister of Commerce and Representative for International Trade Negotiations, pointed out that during the first half of this year, the services sector contributed a substantial 56 percent to China’s GDP and a notable 66 percent to the nation’s overall economic growth. In 2022, China’s total services trade volume reached an impressive $889.1 billion, securing its place as the world’s second-largest player in this arena for the ninth consecutive year.
Continued Dedication to Openness
China, as the world’s second-largest consumer market, has unequivocally demonstrated its commitment to accelerating high-level openness and fostering mutually beneficial cooperation, both domestically and globally. In recent years, China has executed a series of policies and measures aimed at stimulating the growth of trade in services. These encompass innovative initiatives within the service and trade sectors, deeper openings in the service industry, rapid transformation and upgrade of service outsourcing, and the establishment of export bases.
Nie Pingxiang, a researcher at the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Institute of China’s Ministry of Commerce, emphasized China’s plans to further relax foreign investment access restrictions within the service industry. This will be realized through comprehensive pilot programs, the benchmarking of international high-standard institutional regulations, and an expedited pace of opening up.
Foreign company representatives participating in CIFTIS have commended the event for its message of openness, cooperation, and mutual benefit. As China’s business environment continues to improve, the allure of the Chinese market for foreign enterprises continues to grow.
Swift Technological Advancements
Official statistics reveal that during the first seven months of this year, China’s total trade in services reached 3.67 trillion yuan, marking an 8.1% year-on-year increase. Sectors such as construction services, telecommunications, computer technology, and information services have shown enhanced competitiveness, leading to an expansion in advantageous service exports.
Concurrently, China is accelerating its economic transformation and embracing advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and big data. CIFTIS 2023 serves as a platform to showcase cutting-edge advancements in specialized and innovative fields such as chip technology, quantum measurement and control, satellite remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and digital healthcare.
With more than 60 companies and institutions unveiling newly developed products and technologies, including artificial intelligence, financial technology, medical and healthcare innovations, and cultural creativity, CIFTIS underscores China’s economic progression towards technological and intelligent transformation.
Sheng Qiuping, China’s Vice Minister of Commerce, affirmed that CIFTIS 2023 aptly demonstrates the latest breakthroughs and developments in the realm of trade in services, sharing new technologies and accomplishments. It also provides valuable insights and support for deepening international investment cooperation, promoting high-quality economic growth, and advancing sustainable development.
Sheng added that China remains steadfast in its commitment to modernization, focusing on high-quality development, innovation-driven strategies, and the utilization of blockchain, big data, cloud computing, machine learning, and other advanced digital technologies. These endeavors aim to cultivate strategic emerging industries and facilitate the seamless integration of the digital economy with advanced manufacturing and modern services.