The 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) kicked off in Beijing on September 2. Joined by over 12,000 enterprises from 153 countries and regions, the grand fair showcases the new progress and breakthroughs in services trade and shares the new technologies and benefits of human progress.
“We will work with all other parties to uphold openness, cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win, share opportunities in the growth of services trade, and promote world economic recovery and growth,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a message delivered via video link at the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2021 CIFTIS.
He said trade in services is a key component of international trade and an important area of economic and trade cooperation between countries, stressing China will open up at a higher level, 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 (SMEs). His remarks sparked broad attention and response from the international society.
A review of human history shows that the world economy thrives in openness and withers in seclusion. The services sector is unique as it is asset-light but heavy in soft factors of production. As such, it requires, more than other sectors, an open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment for businesses to grow. It calls for the concerted efforts of all countries to reduce border and behind-the-border barriers constraining the flow of production factors and promote cross-border connectivity.
CIFTIS is a comprehensive and state-level exhibition and trading platform dedicated to trade in services with a global reach. Themed “Towards Digital Future and Service Driven Development,” this year’s event aims to establish a wide platform for cooperation and seek the development of trade in services, and will be made into a special and productive one. It will create market opportunities and development dividends for all parties relevant, and inject more confidence and power into the global economic recovery.
Great times call for grand architecture, and grand architecture calls for great vision. To meet the actual needs for growing trade in services, China welcomes relevant parties to share its opportunities, and hopes to tackle the problems facing world economy, global trade and investment together with them.
In his speech, President Xi announced a series of new measures for China to open up at a higher level, create more possibilities for cooperation, further improve rules for the services sector, and continue to support the innovation-driven development of SMEs.
China will implement across the country a negative list for cross-border services trade and explore the development of national demonstration zones for the innovative development of trade in services. It will scale up support for the growth of the services sector in Belt and Road partner countries and share China’s technological achievements with the rest of the world. It will support Beijing and other localities in piloting the alignment of domestic rules with the ones in high-standard international free trade agreements and in building demonstration zones of digital trade. It will deepen the reform of the New Third Board (National Equities Exchange and Quotations) and set up a Beijing Stock Exchange as the primary platform serving innovation-oriented SMEs.
These practical measures fully demonstrate China’s vision and responsibility in promoting the development of trade in services and sharing all benefit from a growing trade in services with people in different countries. They also indicate China’s resolution and confidence in following its fundamental policy of opening-up and always supporting the economic globalization.
Practices have proved, and will continue to prove that the opening-up and cooperation in the service sector is gradually becoming an important force driving development, and China’s continuous development and opening-up will inject strong impetus into global recovery and growth.
Openness is essential for development and progress. It also holds the key to post-COVID economic recovery. We must promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, uphold the multilateral trading regime, discard discriminatory and exclusionary standards, rules and systems, take down barriers to trade, investment and technological exchanges, and enhance supply, industrial, data and human resources chains, so as to build an open world economy.
As China enters a new development stage, it will follow a new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm, so as to establish a new system for higher-level open economy, build a more attractive business environment, and achieve win-win results with the rest of the world at a higher level. It will make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, and make greater contribution to the building a community with a shared future for mankind and a better world.
Editorial by People’s Daily