Visitors take snapshots of a model of the domestically developed C919 passenger jet on display at the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. (Photo by WANG ZHEN/FOR CHINA DAILY)
The 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services－CIFTIS－has further highlighted its role as a key platform for innovative growth by advancing common development through high-level opening-up and facilitating global economic recovery, said government officials on Monday.
The grand event, which concluded on Monday in Beijing, saw 1,339 deals clinched, including 513 commercial transactions, 175 investment agreements and 173 releases of new product and service solutions, according to the fair's organizing committee.
Wang Zhihua, deputy director-general of the department of trade in services and commercial services at the Ministry of Commerce, said the government will push the implementation of upgrading strategies in pilot free trade zones, support the growth of trade in services and provide foreign companies with greater transparency and certainty in the services field.
In addition to expanding the scale of trade in services with economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China will boost the digitalization level of traditional services trade sectors, while encouraging the import of carbon reduction technologies and services to sharpen the competitive edge of Chinese services, the ministry said.
Ding Yong, head of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, said 128 forums and 65 business promotional activities had been held during the fair. More than 10,200 domestic and foreign companies participated in the event in both offline and online forms this year, exceeding the scale seen in 2021.
Covering an exhibition area of more than 15,200 square meters and focusing on nine themes, including financial, educational, healthcare and supply chain management services, the 2022 CIFTIS featured over 446 Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises, which had set up booths, said the event's organizer.
In particular, it was the first time that the fair featured an environmental service section, covering an area of 16,700 square meters and comprising five themed exhibitions on low-carbon energy, climate, carbon economy, carbon neutrality and green technology.
In contrast to trade in goods, trade in services refers to purchase and sale of services. According to the World Trade Organization's definition, trade in services covers 12 major sectors. These include commerce, communication, construction and related engineering, finance, entertainment, culture, sports, tourism, education and environment.
Pushed by fast-growing business sectors such as knowledge-intensive services and foreign culture trade, the value of China's trade in services jumped 20.7 percent year-on-year to 3.39 trillion yuan ($491.23 billion) in the first seven months of 2022, data from the commerce ministry showed.
Ann Derwin, ambassador of Ireland to China, said CIFTIS is a "bridge between China and the rest of the world".
Despite the challenges facing the global economy and a tough trading environment, the Chinese economy has shown strong resilience. The fair has played a positive role in China's continued promotion of global trade, and sent a positive signal to overseas companies interested in expanding their business in China, especially in the area of trade in services, she said.
Focusing on key technologies that can support China's 2030 carbon peak and 2060 carbon neutrality goals, Xiong Yi, senior vice-president and head of strategy and business development of Schneider Electric SA's China unit, said services and digitalization are two key tools to shore up China's "3060"carbon goals. Through collaborative management and whole-process optimization, they will help the company's clients cut carbon emissions.
The French multinational, also a three-time CIFTIS exhibitor, has established a software research and development center in Beijing to expand its presence in this market segment.
"As digital technologies, empowered by software, are being integrated into the application scenarios to realize visible and controllable data management for the entire life-cycle of products and assets in many sectors, businesses are able to save more operational costs and further raise production efficiency," he said.