More than 1,400 firms to attend upcoming services trade fair in Beijing

2022-08-24 Global Times Editor:Li Yan

Beijing is making full preparations for the upcoming 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), which will accelerate the consumption recovery and upgrading in China, while providing opportunities for foreign companies to integrate into the country's vast services market, amid increasing global uncertainties and instabilities and the fragile global economic recovery, an official said on Tuesday.

"We have basically completed preparations for the event and we're in the final sprint," Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping said at a press briefing.

CIFTIS will be held in Beijing from August 31 through September 5.

Sheng said that the fair's role as an important platform for opening-up will be given further play this year, with more than 200 events on topics including opening-up and cooperation in the services trade, green development and digitalization.

This year, the exhibition area is 26,000 square meters larger than last year, Vice Mayor of Beijing Yang Jinbai said at the conference. He said that 1,407 enterprises will participate on-site at the event, up 13.8 percent year-on-year, of which 446 are Fortune Global 500 companies and industry leaders. 

The overall internationalization rate stands at 20.8 percent, up nearly 3 percentage points year-on-year.

As of Monday, 71 countries, regions and international organizations had confirmed to stage exhibitions or hold meetings at the CIFTIS, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, the UK and the World Meteorological Organization. 

Ten countries, including the UAE, Switzerland, Italy and Australia, will hold exhibitions at the event in their countries' names for the first time, Yang said.

As China is accelerating the implementation of the new development paradigm, the added-value of the country's services sector has soared 1.49 times over the past 10 years, and cumulative trade in services has exceeded $4 trillion, further cementing the country's advantage of having an ultra-large market, according to official data.

In the first half of the year, China's trade in services maintained relatively fast growth, with a total of 2.9 trillion yuan ($424.14 billion), up 21.6 percent year-on-year, showed official data.

"In spite of sound achievements, the development of the country's trade in services is facing growing challenges," Sheng said. He said that sporadic COVID-19 resurgences restrict cross-border business travel, while overseas demand may contract amid sluggish demand in major economies, and fewer orders and rising costs are weighing on domestic services trade firms, especially small and medium-sized companies.

Sheng said the government is ramping up efforts to promote high-quality development of trade in the services sector, including continuously boosting opening-up, encouraging the development of emerging trade models and promoting digitalization of traditional trade sectors.

With the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership having taken effect, China is now applying to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, in a bid to promote regional free and convenient services and digital trade.

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