Trade in services takes digital leap

Updated: Feb 1, 2021 By LIU ZHIHUA China Daily Print
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Visitors check a model of a China-Europe freight train locomotive at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on Sept 8. China's services trade has surged in recent years as the country opens its doors wider to the rest of the world. [Photo by CHEN XIAOGEN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Latest report suggests Chinese firms can ride big opportunities to succeed overseas

Trade in services has become an important feature of China's efforts to promote higher-level opening-up. It also helps optimize the presence of Chinese enterprises on the global industrial and value chain, according to a new report.

Since China became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001, its services trade has seen consistent year-on-year growth and expanded rapidly in recent years amid the country's efforts to open its doors wider to the rest of the world, the report said.

The report was published jointly by Social Sciences Academic Press and the Beijing Enterprises' Global Management Research Center, which is part of the University of International Business and Economics, at the beginning of the year.

Official data on services trade for the first 11 months of 2020 showed prospects for growing business abound for both domestic and global players.

Excluding tourism services, which suffered a heavy blow due to the pandemic, China's services trade rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in the January-November period, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Services trade reached 4.08 trillion yuan ($630 billion) during the period, with 44.2 percent being generated by trade in knowledge-intensive services, up 9.9 percentage points year-on-year.

"China's trade in services has been undergoing structural improvement in the past few years, as the contribution of labor-intensive industries to the total trade in services has been declining constantly, while knowledge-empowered services are on the rise," the report said.

Services trade volume from traditionally labor-intensive industries declined 1.6 percent on a yearly basis to 3.27 trillion yuan in 2019, accounting for 60.4 percent of the total trade in services.

Knowledge-empowered emerging services achieved swift development in 2019, with total trade volume surging 10.8 percent year-on-year to more than 1.87 trillion yuan in 2019.

Trade volume in those emerging services accounted for 34.7 percent of the total trade in services in 2019, up 2.5 percentage points from a year ago.

Exports of emerging services reached 991.68 billion yuan, up 13.4 percent over 2018, and the imports touched 886.09 billion yuan, up 8 percent over 2018.

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