China's service trade has delivered a meteoric expansion and showcased a growing presence in the global arena over the past decade, as the country moves into a higher-level opening-up economy.
Since 2012, China's service trade has sustained a robust momentum, with an annual growth of 6.1 percent, 3.1 percentage points higher than the global expansion, said Wang Dongtang, a senior official with the Ministry of Commerce, at a press conference Tuesday.
From Aug. 31 to Sept. 5, the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), which was launched in 2012, is slated to be held in Beijing, providing platforms for exchanges in service trade.
"The past decade has seen both the CIFTIS's transformation, and the service trade sector's rapid development," Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping said.
The CIFTIS has been expanding continuously since it was launched 10 years ago, evolving into one of the three major platforms in China that serve to promote opening-up and international cooperation, Sheng said.
This year's service trade fair will include a global services trade summit, exhibitions, forums, new product and technology releases, business promotions and discussions, and supporting activities.
The fair will this year feature greater internationalization with some 400 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises confirming that they will attend the exhibition offline, representing a larger share than its last edition, according to Sheng.
In light of this increased participation, the exhibition area has grown 26,000 square meters more than for last year's event, with its thematic exhibition area doubling from a year ago to reach 20,000 square meters.
As an international comprehensive fair, the CIFTIS will offer all-around opportunities for companies worldwide to tap into China's service trade market, and serve as an exchange platform for Chinese firms to fully leverage domestic and overseas markets and resources, Sheng said.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Over the past decade, China's strength of having a super-large market has become more apparent. The accumulated import value of service trade has surpassed 4 trillion U.S. dollars, according to Wang.
The total value of China's service trade has retained second spot in the world for eight years in a row, Wang added.
The stellar growth in service trade came as the country accelerated its pace in building a higher-level opening-up economy in recent years.
China has shortened its negative list for foreign investment for five consecutive years. The RCEP agreement -- the world's largest free trade deal between 10 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- came into force this year.
"We have also held the service trade fairs for consecutive years to provide an international and professional platform designed to strengthen service trade cooperation," Wang noted.
Along with a series of other key fairs, such as the China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair, "China is actively promoting the progress of turning the country's super-large market into broader opportunities for all countries," Wang said.