China to offer more, better services to world through high-quality development

By He Yin, People’s Daily

On Sept. 2, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) via video.

“In developing the services sector and trade in services, China will work with all countries and parties to advance inclusive development through openness, promote connectivity and integration through cooperation, foster drivers for development through innovation, and create a better future through shared services, in a bid to jointly get the world economy onto the track of sustained recovery,” Xi said.

In his speech, Xi announced a series of measures of China to expand the opening up of the services sector and expounded on China’s important proposals for promoting the prosperity and development of international trade in services. The speech demonstrated China’s willingness and commitment to sharing the achievements of trade in services with other countries.

The world economic recovery remains sluggish today, with less than 3 percent growth for the year as estimated by some international institutions.

Trade in services is a pivotal component of international trade, and the services sector plays a vital role in economic and trade collaboration between nations.

At present, the deepening global cooperation in trade in services and the services sector, the accelerated process of digital-driven, smart and green growth, and burgeoning new technologies as well as new business forms and models would give a strong impetus to advancing economic globalization, reviving global growth and enhancing the resilience of world economic development.

With the theme of “Opening up leads development, cooperation delivers the future,” the 2023 CIFTIS aims to build an important platform for expanding opening up, deepening cooperation and leading innovation, and will inject new impetus into promoting world economic recovery through trade in services.

How will China, the second-largest economy in the world, further contribute to global economic recovery?

Noting that this year marks the 45th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, Xi reaffirmed the country’s commitment to promoting high-standard opening up and advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, thereby providing all countries with new opportunities for openness and cooperation.

China will create a “more open and more inclusive” development environment, strengthen the bond of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, strengthen innovation-driven development, and share the outcomes of the Chinese modernization drive with the rest of the world.

These proposals demonstrate China’s firm determination to follow the development trend of economic globalization, promote development by opening up and seek win-win results with cooperation. They also manifest China’s aspiration to lend new impetus to global development with the opportunities generated by the country’s vast market, and to increase the sense of gains of people around the world.

How will China, a powerhouse of trade in services, further promote international service trade?

Xi noted that China will expand a globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas, actively launch negotiations on the negative list for trade in services and investment, and further open up services areas such as telecommunications, tourism, law and vocational examinations.

China’s national integrated demonstration zone for greater openness in the services sector as well as eligible pilot free trade zones and free trade port will be the first to align their policies with high-standard international economic and trade rules, Xi said, adding that the country will widen access to its services sector, advance the opening up in cross-border services trade in an orderly manner, improve the level of standardization of services trade, and steadily expand institutional opening up.

China will deepen cooperation on services trade and digital trade with Belt and Road partner countries. It will accelerate the cultivation of new drivers for the digitalization of services trade, implement pilot reforms on basic data systems, and promote the development of digital trade through reform and innovation.

Besides, it will take the initiative to increase the imports of quality services, and encourage more exports of knowledge-intensive services.

These measures will not only help with the development of China’s service sector and trade in services, but also promote the prosperity of global trade in services and bring more benefits of trade in services to people around the world.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. The world is seeing a more proactive China in expanding openness and cooperation, and a more attractive China to all countries eager for openness and cooperation.

China is continuously working to improve its business environment, further expanding the industries and areas in which foreign investment is encouraged, offering greater convenience for foreign investors in China, and promoting the signing of more high-standard free trade agreements and regional trade agreements. It has created a series of platforms of opening up including the CIFTIS and the China International Import Expo.

In the first seven months of this year, 28,406 foreign-funded enterprises were established across China, up 34 percent.

The CIFTIS this year has attracted 59 countries and 24 international organizations to set up exhibitions and conferences, with more than 2,400 companies participating offline. More than 500 Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders attended the event, and over 20 percent of participants were from outside China.

This fully proves the confidence of the international community in the Chinese economy, and the great importance it is attaching to the vast opportunities presented by the Chinese market.

The global economy thrives in openness and withers in seclusion. China will unswervingly expand high-level opening up, and work with all parties to uphold the hard-won free trade and multilateral trading regime, share in the historic opportunities in the development of global trade in services, and unite for an even brighter and more prosperous future for the world.