Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services via video, Sept. 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
President Xi Jinping on Thursday unveiled a slew of new measures to facilitate trade in services in the country's latest efforts to share its development opportunities and boost global economic recovery.
China will explore the development of national demonstration zones to promote the innovative development of services trade and increase support for services sector in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said while addressing the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held in Beijing.
The country will optimize the rules for the services sector by supporting Beijing and other localities in piloting the alignment of domestic rules with the ones in high-standard international free trade agreements and in building digital trade demonstration zones, Xi said.
A stock exchange will be set up in Beijing to serve innovation-oriented small and medium-sized firms, Xi said.
"Let us join hands to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and get through these tough times," Xi said.
"Using peace, development and win-win cooperation as the 'golden key', we will be able to address the challenges facing the world economy and international trade and investment, and create a brighter future for all," he said.
Themed "Towards Digital Future and Service Driven Development," the 2021 CIFTIS will last from Sept. 2 to Sept. 7.
As a massive exhibition and trading platform dedicated to trade in services, the CIFTIS played an important role in boosting worldwide trade last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global trade.
Addressing the CIFTIS in 2020, Xi made three proposals, calling on all countries to jointly foster an open and inclusive cooperation environment, work together to invigorate momentum for cooperation driven by innovation, and break new ground in win-win cooperation.
At a press conference last week, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan said the ministry has rolled out 36 detailed measures to implement what was proposed at last year's CIFTIS, with many seeing significant progress.
For example, the country introduced its first negative list for cross-border trade in services at the Hainan free trade port in July, marking the highest level of opening-up in the cross-border services trade realm.
As COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalization of trade in services, this year's CIFTIS features a dedicated section for digital services for the first time.
The 2021 CIFTIS has attracted the registration from more than 12,000 enterprises, up 52 percent from that in 2020. Representatives from 153 countries and regions signed up for the event, compared with 148 last year.