Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) via video on Sept. 4, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — The 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services opened on Friday, presenting an opportunity to strengthen open cooperation in the service sector and invigorate global economic recovery.
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng declared the opening of the first major international economic and trade event held both online and offline by China since the COVID-19 outbreak, at the China National Convention Center in Beijing.
Themed “Global Services, Shared Prosperity,” the six-day fair has one comprehensive exhibition area and eight special exhibition areas.
A total of 18,000 enterprises and institutions from 148 countries and regions and about 100,000 people have registered for the fair. Overseas guests, exhibitors and merchants will mainly attend online exhibitions and all types of entities in China will mainly participate in offline exhibitions.
The event includes the Global Trade in Services Summit, four summit forums and more than 100 industry seminars and forums. It covers service trade of culture, tourism, finance, sports, robotics, education and 5G.
The fair will release more than 30 industry development reports, indexes and rankings, including an action guide for urban tourism recovery amid COVID-19.
The fair demonstrates China’s confidence and determination to unswervingly promote its opening-up policy, and sends positive signals to uphold economic globalization and strengthen international cooperation, according to Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan.
China is an important contributor to the growth of global trade in services. According to statistics, China’s services exports have grown at an average annual rate of 9 percent in the past 15 years, 2.9 percentage points higher than the global average. In the same period, China’s services imports totaled 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars, contributing 12.9 percent to the growth of global services imports.
China’s effective containment of the epidemic and the stable recovery of its economy have allowed the fair to be held, said Xu Hongcai, deputy director of the Economic Policy Commission with the China Association of Policy Science.
In the comprehensive exhibition hall at the China National Convention Center, humanoid robots were watering flowers while greeting the busy staff.
“I hope we can find new partners and reach new cooperation agreements at the trade fair to expand our business at home and abroad,” said Zhou Jian, founder of Shenzhen-based company UBTECH Robotics Corp.
Facing the adverse business situation, it developed three types of intelligent anti-epidemic robots within 20 days, which helped attract more orders for the company in the first half of the year.
“The deep integration of advanced manufacturing and the modern service industry has become the key for enterprises to adapt to the new round of industrial revolution and enhance their competitive advantages,” said Yuan Feng, vice president of BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd., a leading Chinese high-tech company.
In recent years, China has been deepening reform and opening up in the service sector, improving the system and mechanism for trade in services and raising the level of development, with pilot programs for innovative development of the service trade.
China will develop open platforms for the pilot program of innovative development of the services sector, further ease market access for the services sector, and take greater initiative to increase imports of quality services, said Chinese President Xi Jinping while addressing the Global Trade in Services Summit of the services trade fair via video.
“To meet the actual needs for growing trade in services, China will promote greater harmonization of rules for the service sector at the multilateral and regional levels, and work for continued improvement in global economic governance and more inclusive growth of the world economy,” Xi said.
In 2019, China’s services imports and exports totaled 5.4 trillion yuan, ranking second in the world for the sixth consecutive year.
As China vigorously develops its service industry and trade, this will be the country’s new growth point for the coming decades and generate new momentum for higher-level opening up, according to Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization.