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Experts say Xi's speech at service trade fair reaffirms China's commitment to opening-up

(Xinhua)    11:02, September 10, 2020

BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the services trade fair reaffirmed China's commitment to opening-up amid the COVID-19 pandemic and rising protectionism, experts have said.

"China will remain steadfast in opening up wider to the world," Xi said while addressing the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) via video on Friday.

Liang Guoyong, an economic affairs officer with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said against the backdrop of rising protectionism and unilateralism, Xi's speech was timely and emphasized that China will unswervingly widen its opening-up measures.

Amid the pandemic and global economic recession, the measures taken by China, including improving a negative list system for managing the cross-border service trade, developing open platforms for the pilot program of innovative development of the services sector and further easing market access for the services sector, are of great importance, said Liang.

Despite rising unilateralism and protectionism, the CIFTIS has shown "China's steadfast commitment to economic opening-up, globalization, international economic cooperation and upholding a rules-based global order," said Wilson Lee Flores, a Philippine Star columnist.

As the first physical trade show since the pandemic's outbreak, the CIFTIS is "a ray of hope and a catalyst for world economic recovery," the columnist said.

Frederic Baldan, CEO of Belgian consulting company CEBiz, said the holding of the CIFTIS is part of China's efforts to continue opening up.

"This kind of fair is very useful for connecting supply and demand, sharing business opportunities, and promoting mutually beneficial development. It contributes to creating a community with a shared future for mankind," said Baldan.

Teo Siong Seng, former chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, said the CIFTIS provides an opportunity for both China's service industry and businesses overseas.

"With the growth of China's economy and improvement of people's living standards, the demand for the service industries has correspondingly risen," said Teo.

"The CIFTIS is helpful in promoting the further development of China's service industry" and "will also provide more opportunities for businesses overseas," Teo said.

Calling the CIFTIS "a good move to help resist the global economic recession amid the COVID-19 pandemic," Gamal Bayoumi, head of the Cairo-based Arab Investors Union, said China has played a great role in maintaining the world economy and promoting global trade.

"We appreciate China's efforts to push forward trade, economy, and services in the world," Bayoumi said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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