By Luo Shanshan, People's Daily
The 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is scheduled to be held at the China National Convention Center and the Shougang Park in Beijing from Sept. 2 to 6.
The theme of the event this year is "openness leads development, cooperation creates a win-win future."
Assistant minister of commerce Chen Chunjiang noted that this year's CIFTIS will keep serving as an important platform for China to expand opening up, hold the Global Trade in Services Summit and launch over 200 varied events.
It will discuss the new concepts, trends and approaches for the open development of the service sector and trade in services with countries worldwide, Chen added.
According to Sima Hong, deputy mayor of Beijing, the 2023 CIFTIS covers a total exhibition area of 155,000 square meters, and a total of 51 countries and 24 international organizations will set up exhibition booths.
As of Aug. 20, more than 2,200 enterprises had confirmed offline participation. In particular, over 500 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises will join the event.
These enterprises come from 28 of the top 30 countries and regions in service trade. Over 20 percent of the exhibitors are from outside China.
The 2023 CIFTIS will highlight international cooperation and offline activities. It will for the first time host the "Invest in China Year" promotion event and launch a signing ceremony for the Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, a convention of the United Nations.
The 2023 CIFTIS will further highlight its leading role in innovations in technology, business forms and models.
It will demonstrate new achievements in chips, quantum measurement, satellite remote sensing, AI, and digital healthcare at its comprehensive exhibition and nine themed exhibitions. Over 60 companies and institutions will unveil new products and technologies in AI, financial tech, healthcare, creative culture and more.
"In 2022, the total value of China's service trade reached a record high of nearly 6 trillion yuan ($139.18 billion), up 12.9 percent year-on-year, ranking second in the world for 9 consecutive years," said Chen.
Despite complicated external situations, China's service trade has shown strong resilience with rapid growth, Chen said.
In the first half of this year, its service trade grew 8.5 percent from a year ago to 3.1 trillion yuan. In particular, knowledge-intensive service trade rose 12.3 percent year-on-year, accounting for 43.5 percent of China's total service trade.
This marked further improvement in the quality and competitiveness of China's service trade.
The continuously enhanced foundation of the service trade sector, as well as the innovation of the sector driven by digitalization and green development, are creating new favorable factors.
In 2022, China's digital service trade volume reached 2.51 trillion yuan with an increase of 7.8 percent year-on-year, ranking 5th globally. The exports of such services grew 12.2 percent to 1.42 trillion yuan, 9.6 percentage points higher than the import growth rate, which reflected the increasing international competitiveness of Chinese suppliers.
In the first six months of this year, China's digital service trade volume reached a 12.3 percent growth, 3.8 percentage points higher than the overall service trade growth.
"We expect service trade to maintain growth this year with continued optimization of trade structure," said Chen. In the next step, the Ministry of Commerce will work with relevant departments to introduce policies and measures to promote high-quality development of service trade.
In August 2020, China's State Council approved the pilot program of deepening comprehensive innovation-driven development of trade in services in 28 areas across the country. Over the past 3 years, a total of 2,883 pilot measures have been implemented, producing outcomes and experiences that have guided China's service trade innovation.
Last year, the 21 provincial-level regions where the 28 pilot areas are located accounted for over 97 percent of China's total service trade.