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2018 CIFTIS to focus on B&R service trade

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-22 19:24

A vital platform for business cooperation and communication, the fifth China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services is set to be held in May next year, further boosting international trade among countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, said local officials at a recent warm-up event in the capital.

Yan Ligang, director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce said on Wednesday during the warm-up event that the fifth CIFTIS will proactively commit itself to the Belt and Road Initiative and promote service trade cooperation.

The fifth CIFTIS will focus on six major fields: science and technology, internet and information, cultural education, finance, business and tourism, and healthcare.

The schedule consists of an international service trade summit, a dozen international forum conferences, over 100 business promotion activities and an exhibition covering 50,000 square meters.

The international service trade summit is set to be a highlight of next year's CIFTIS. The summit will invite Chinese national leaders to deliver keynote speeches. It will also encourage foreign dignitaries, heads of international organizations and senior executives of multinational companies to carry out comprehensive discussions on the growing trends and hot issues within international service trade.

A series of international conferences will also discuss service trade development with renowned international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Intellectual Property Organization and International Trade Center.

The conferences will examine industrial integration and model innovation in the service industries, including e-commerce, express services, sports and traditional Chinese medicine. They aim to provide an opportunity for participant merchants to better understand China's industrial policies and dynamic environment.

The business promotion activities will include themed days for certain countries and regions, provinces and cities of China, and industry promotion events. The activities will introduce China's industrial advantages, preferential policies, special enterprises and cooperative projects to all exhibitors and visitors.

The 50,000-square-meter exhibition center will showcase the advanced technology and latest achievements in service trade of the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and members of international organizations.

Special enterprises, key projects and innovative products from China will also be on show there.

"To date, China has conducted service trade with more than 180 economies and established institutionalized cooperation with eight countries. Also, China has been fostering pragmatic service trade among emerging economies under the framework of BRICS," said Xian Guoyi, director of the department of trade in services and commercial services of the Ministry of Commerce.

"Trade in service has become the new engine driving China's foreign trade and the new momentum for deepening China's opening-up.

"From 2012 to 2016, the annual average growth rate of China's service trade was 8.1 percent, ranking No 2 globally," Xian said.

He also said that during that period, China has accumulatively imported services valued at $2 trillion from all over the world, accounting for 8.1 percent of the global service export volume.

Since 2013 when the Belt and Road Initiative was first proposed, China has invested over $30 billion in the countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt Road and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The aim is to develop the service industry in those regions, injecting significant development momentum and creating a large number of jobs, he added.

The first four CIFTIS events held 533 activities for 7,500 exhibitors and 562,000 traders from 173 countries.

"In order to unremittingly strengthen foreign cooperation, China will spare no effort to forge CIFTIS into a significant exhibition with global influence," Xian said.

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