Share development opportunities with CIFTIS to jointly promote global recovery

By He Yin, People’s Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Aug. 31 sent a congratulatory letter to the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

In the letter, he stressed the significance of the event, showed China’s resolution to promote high-quality development by high-level opening-up, and expressed the country’s aspiration to jointly promote the open and shared services economy to inject impetus into the recovery of the global economy.

Service trade is the most dynamic part of today’s international trade. It is the source of global growth.

The CIFTIS is an international and comprehensive exhibition and platform at the state level established by China for service trade. It has constantly expanded its influence since its first session 10 years ago.

Themed “Cooperate for Better Development, Innovate for a Greener Future,” the 2022 CIFTIS has attracted over 70 countries and international organizations, and is physically participated by more than 400 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises.

Given COVID-19 resurgences, increasing uncertainties and instabilities of the international situation, as well as the sluggish world recovery, the on-schedule CIFTIS is of special significance.

Some said the event will make a sound atmosphere for promoting the growth of global trade, and will create favorable conditions for global countries in terms of economic development.

The constantly increasing influence of the CIFTIS comes from China’s continuous efforts to expand opening up.

As one of China’s three major open exhibition platforms, the CIFTIS highlights opening up. In a congratulatory letter to the 2019 CIFTIS, Xi stressed that China is committed to promoting higher-standard opening up. A year later, he called on the world to work together to foster an open and inclusive environment for cooperation, unleash the power of innovation in driving cooperation forward, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation. Last year, the Chinese President promised that China would create more possibilities for cooperation, further improve rules for the services sector, and continue to support the innovation-driven development of small- and medium-sized enterprises. In the congratulatory letter to the event this year, he said China stays committed to broadening market access in the services sector, facilitating opening-up in cross-border services trade, expanding the function of opening-up platforms, and striving to establish a high-standard opening-up system for the services sector.

The CIFTIS, developing with China’s expanding opening up, is also driving China’s opening up.

China’s opening up measures, which are implemented as the country has promised, make the CIFTIS an appealing event.

When the world is facing an increase in de-globalization and trade protectionist rhetoric and actions, opening up and cooperation are even more precious. Only the countries that are able to open up and cooperate with others can grasp the opportunities in global development.

The CIFTIS is a witness to China’s expanding opening up over the recent years.

In 2019, Xi promised that China would expand market access for foreign capital in broader areas and create a first-class business environment. In 2020, he said the country would work on a negative list system for managing cross-border services trade and develop open platforms for the pilot program of innovative development of the services sector. Last year, the Chinese President said China would implement across the country a negative list for cross-border services trade.

These new measures announced by Xi to expand high-level opening up have achieved fruitful results and benefited all relevant parties. They have contributed Chinese strength to deepening global cooperation on service trade and investment, and enhanced development dynamism.

It is under such active strategies that China’s service trade has embraced prosperous development.

Last year, China’s service trade hit a record high of 5.3 trillion yuan (about $767.34 billion), and China has become the world’s third largest exporter of services. In the first half of this year, the country’s service trade maintained rapid growth, growing 21.6 percent year on year to 2.9 trillion yuan.

Service trade has become an important part and a new area of growth of China’s foreign economic and trade cooperation. In the future, China will definitely make greater contributions to the prosperity of global service trade, by establishing a high-standard opening-up system for the services sector, building national demonstration zones for innovative development of trade in services, fostering benchmark cities for global digital economy, and accelerating the new service economy with new digital business forms.

The 2022 CIFTIS chooses “Fuyan” as its mascot, which means “blessed swallow” in Chinese. Inspired by the Beijing swift, the mascot indicates the development of trade in services will benefit all the countries.

Just as the lively Beijing swifts that fly nearly 30,000 kilometers across over 30 countries during their migration each year, only by making long and tenacious efforts to foster opening up and cooperation can countries embrace development and prosperity.

China is willing to work with all parties relevant to implement the Global Development Initiative and promote healthy and sustainable development of service trade with the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to and inject bigger impetus into global recovery.