An employee readies a bartending robot at the CIFTIS exhibition venue in Beijing over the weekend. (ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY)
The 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing from Wednesday to Monday marks the 10th year that China is hosting the fair. Over the past 10 years, the fair has not only built an exchange platform for international cooperation in service fields and injected new momentum into the development of global service trade, but also provided important support to the high-quality development of China's service industries.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global service trade is still active and China's service trade, in particular, still shows strong growth momentum. Since 2012, China's trade in services has maintained an average annual growth rate of 6.1 percent, 3.1 percentage points higher than the global growth rate, and as of 2021, China's service trade has been ranked second in the world for eight consecutive years.
Over the past 10 years, the added value of China's service industry has increased by 1.49 times, with accumulated imported services exceeding $4 trillion, demonstrating that the service trade has become an important growth point of China's foreign economic and trade cooperation. Over the past decade, China has worked with the rest of the world to foster an open and inclusive environment for cooperation, share the opportunities of trade in services and promote global economic recovery and growth. The number of countries and regions having service trade links with China has increased to more than 200. China's services imports and exports exceeded $800 billion for the first time in 2021, from $470.58 billion in 2012.
As the only national and comprehensive service trade platform in the world, CIFTIS has become one of the three major exhibition platforms of China's opening-up to the world. The hosting of the fair and the continuous improvement of its level of specialization, marketization and internationalization not only demonstrate China's wisdom and responsibility, but also play an important role in promoting the high-quality development of China's service trade, and high-quality transformation and upgrading of its industrial structure.
In the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, growing uncertainties in the international environment and feeble global economic recovery, it is of special significance to hold the 2022 CIFTIS as scheduled. It is hoped all countries can uphold the principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to jointly promote the development of global trade in services and bring about early global economic recovery.