Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi said Tuesday that the country should step up efforts to develop its service trade in a bid to alter the growth pattern of foreign trade and increase employment and domestic consumption.
"The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing the service trade," said Wu, adding that "since its entry into WTO, China has opened its service industry wider and wider, with its service trade expanding rapidly."
Last year, China's service trade reached 191.75 billion U.S. dollars, compared with 4.6 billion U.S. dollars in 1982.
Meanwhile, its world ranking rose from the 28th place to the eighth in service exports and from the 40th to seventh in imports.
But compared with developed countries, the overall development level of China's service industry and trade remains low, said Wu.
She made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to a newly established national association of service trade.
China will put the development of its service trade high on the agenda, said Vice-Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun.
The country will mainly boost trade in the cultural, tourism, shipping and insurance sectors and strengthen the international competitiveness of service firms, Yi said.
The government will map out new policies to give strong support to firms that develop service trade and encourage these firms to cooperate and learn from their foreign counterparts.
To promote service trade, China will also strengthen its exchanges and cooperation with international organizations, such as the WTO, the UN Conference on Trade and development and the European Union.