China says service trade to hit 600 bln USD by 2015

08:41, June 01, 2011      

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China is drafting a five-year plan to promote trade in its service sectors, with a projected service trade volume of 600 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"Despite a relatively late take-off, China's service trade has huge potential," said Assistant Minister of Commerce Qiu Hong at a press conference in Beijing.

She said China's service trade reached 362.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, doubling that of 2005 and ranking fourth in the world.

However, the proportion of service trade to the country's overall foreign trade was just 10.9 percent in 2010, compared to the global average of around 20 percent, according to Qiu.

The country's manufacturing sector has long depended on high consumption of energy and natural resources, whereas the service sector features high added value, smaller environmental impact and ample jobs, according to Qiu.

"The development of service trade is conducive to the transformation of China's foreign trade growth and the promotion of economic restructuring," she said.

China has seen a growing service trade deficit as it sends more students and tourists abroad.

A report released on May 11 by the U.S. Commerce Department said that the U.S.'s service surplus with China has accelerated rapidly in the last several years, from 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 to 10.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Statistics from the World Trade Organization show that global trade in services expanded from 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars to 7.2 trillion U.S. dollars over the past five years, with an average annual growth rate of 8 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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