Fair shows confidence in opening up service sector

(China Daily) 09:02, September 08, 2023

People visit the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services at China National Convention Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 4, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services that concluded in Beijing on Wednesday was a complete success. The five-day event attracted exhibitors from 83 countries and international organizations and nearly 280,000 visitors. The dazzling array of products, the crowds, and the eye-catching transaction data all point to confidence and are a lesson for those in the West who are predicting doom for the Chinese economy.

The United Kingdom, the guest of honor country at the event this year, sent the largest delegation in four years, consisting of more than 60 companies and institutions. The British exhibitors said they did not believe in "decoupling". Even companies from the United States participated actively; Qualcomm and Intel had brought a number of technologies and solutions.

Those who are saying that the Chinese economy is collapsing should see the confidence the world reposes in its second-largest economy. China's large market and the new opportunities presented by the transformation of consumption are the source of this confidence. Offline exhibitors at the fair included more than 500 of the world's Top 500 and leading enterprises, covering most major service sectors and countries and regions strong in service trade.

At present, China is gradually shifting from commodity consumption to both commodity and service consumption, and is constantly expanding the policy certainty of opening-up. China has basically opened up its manufacturing sector to foreign investment and is in the process of opening up its service sector. At this service trade fair, China clearly proposed to expand the opening-up of such service fields as telecommunications, tourism and vocational examinations, and it will accelerate the introduction of a national negative list of cross-border service trade and start the construction of the first batch of national service trade innovation and development demonstration zones. For foreign businesses, a higher level of opening-up, as these moves indicate, means greater development opportunities.

China's continued efforts to move up the value chain are also noteworthy. In 2022, China's total investment in research and development reached about 3.09 trillion yuan ($422 billion), an increase of 10.4 percent over the previous year, and accounting for 2.55 percent of GDP.

Trade in services is a new engine of China's economic growth, which bears witness to the resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy. Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese economy has continued to recover and has generally picked up. As many analysts point out, China will remain the engine of global growth for the foreseeable future.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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