Multinationals gain momentum in China


BEIJING: China has been able to demonstrate leadership in service liberalisation both regionally and globally as cross-border trade in services has become the most dynamic part of global trade, said a World Bank official at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

The service industry will create more opportunities. “We hope to learn from China’s reform efforts. And we are ready to contribute in any way to the success of these reforms,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank vice-president for the East Asia and Pacific.

She made the remarks at the “Forum of Trade Facilitation in Services: Perspective of Multinationals” held during the ongoing CIFTIS in Beijing.

At the trade fair, themed “Global Services, Shared Prosperity,” China highlighted higher-level opening-up, providing new impetus and creating new opportunities for multinationals.

“With China’s opening-up and a strong focus on advanced technology, we are confident that the country’s growth and development journey will continue,” said Bjorn Rosengren, CEO of ABB Ltd.

China has vowed to deepen reforms and pursue higher-level opening-up to provide a strong impetus for establishing a new development pattern featuring dual circulation.

“Under the new circumstances, trade service is of vital importance to China’s economic and foreign trade development,” said Li Jun, director with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

“China’s service trade has entered a new level, becoming a fresh driving force for the high-quality development of foreign trade and a new engine for promoting higher-level opening-up,” Li said.

China is sending positive signals: China will stay committed to further opening up, with measures including the establishment of a sound negative list management system in cross-border service trade, and the advancement of constructing open platforms for piloting innovative development of trade in services.

The country will also continue to ease market access in the service sector and actively expand imports of quality services.

“Under China’s new development pattern of ‘dual circulation,’ improving the quality of services is essential to satisfy the growing domestic consumer demand while competing for a larger share of the high-end services market internationally,” said Merlin Swire, chairman of Swire Pacific Limited.

“We are pleased to see that the negative list compiled by the Chinese government is getting shorter, and the encouraged catalog is getting longer,” said Swire.

In the past four decades since reform and opening-up, China’s service industry has been gradually opening wider to the outside world, becoming a vital factor in the country’s service trade.

China is committed to opening wider to the outside world and sharpening the competitive edge in international cooperation and competition, despite being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country released a master plan in early June on building the southern island province of Hainan into a globally influential free trade port.

China issued the 2020 version of the negative lists for foreign investment, which took effect in July, and reduced the number of sectors that are off-limits for foreign investors to 33 from 40 in the 2019 version.

The country’s commitments and actions have won global recognition. Steven Lien, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific, was invited by the 2020 CIFTIS as one of the 24 industry narrators.

Appearing virtually at the fair, he shared how the internet and big data are changing the world.

Lien expects the proficient use of data to greatly improve industry efficiency and productivity, supporting China’s development of “new infrastructure construction.”

“Lucky to be in China! With lots of people in flights, I can see the government’s performance in pandemic control.

“The Chinese market is recovering, and the economy is showing its resilience,” said Lien. — Xinhua
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