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Li promises to speed up service growth

(China Daily)

08:43, May 30, 2013

Premier Li Keqiang (center), Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (front row, first left) and other senior leaders visit the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on Wednesday. XU JINGXING / CHINA DAILY

Premier Li Keqiang criticized the slower development of service industries compared with the rest of the economy, pledging on Tuesday to speed up growth in the sector to create more urban jobs.

One focus of the central government is to let service industries play a bigger role in boosting growth and creating new jobs, Li said in his keynote speech at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.

China is facing a severe job market challenge this year when it will have to provide work for about 7 million new college graduates.

Li said the nation will have to forge ahead with economic reform, including further opening up to overseas investment and building free trade zones in pilot cities.

"China will encourage developed service enterprises to go abroad to tap the international market, while welcoming foreign companies to set up headquarters, logistics centers, procurement centers and data centers in China," Li said.

There is a sufficient supply of many manufactured goods — even overcapacity in some industries — but supply still cannot meet demand for many services, the premier said, adding that tapping the potential of the service industries is an important way to improve the efficiency of China’s economy.

Led by information and network technologies and logistics management, service industries tend to bring about many innovations and provide new impetus to overall economic growth, the premier said.

China will attempt to expand its share of the global market in outsourcing services.

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