From January to May, China's trade in services saw a rapid increase. The total value of imports and exports amounted to 237.6 billion US dollars, up 14.5 percent year-on-year. Service exports rose 15.9 percent to 94.1 billion US dollars, and imports grew by 13.6 percent to 14.35 billion US dollars, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.
Over the first five months of this year, the growth rate of service exports exceeded imports for the first time.
Imports and exports of high value-added services witnessed rapid growth. From January to May, film, audio &video, financial services, computer and information services, royalties and patent license fees, and exports and imports of consulting services, rose 89 percent, 51 percent, 31 percent, 28 percent and 20 percent respectively compared to the same period of last year.
The contribution of services to foreign trade continues to rise. Since joining the WTO, China's service trade has expanded rapidly; its world ranking has climbed from 13th in 2001 to third at the present.
However, due to the late development of China's trade in services, it continues to lag behind trade in goods. In 2013, the total value of imports and exports in services stood at 540 billion US dollars, only about half that of the United States.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian said that in the future, competition in world trade will be reflected more in trade in services, which has become a new driving force for economic growth and a focus of great power competition.
The article is edited and translated from《“中国服务”成外贸新动力》, source: People's Daily, author: Wang Ke