By He Yin, People’s Daily
Under the theme of “Towards Digital Future and Service Driven Development”, the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) kicked off in Beijing on Sept. 2. The event serves as a roomy platform through which countries can collectively advance service trade, provide market opportunities and development dividends for foreign countries, and infuse more confidence and vitality into world economic recovery.
Openness and cooperation in the service sector is becoming an increasingly important driver for development. The CIFTIS, an event hosted by China to share development opportunities with the entire world, pool wisdom, and facilitate extensive cooperation, has appealed to enterprises and organizations from across the world.
In his speech at the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 CIFTIS last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested working together to foster an open and inclusive environment for cooperation, unleash the power of innovation in driving cooperation forward and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, demonstrating China’s breadth of vision and sense of responsibility in promoting the development of service trade and making the fruits of service trade growth accessible to all.
As the world’s largest comprehensive exhibition in service trade, the CIFTIS has witnessed how the global trend toward win-win cooperation has continuously gained momentum. China has held the CIFTIS seven times, attracting more and more participants from the world and providing them with a platform to pursue win-win cooperation.
This year’s CIFTIS has seen more participants and greater participation of foreign companies, with over 10,000 enterprises from 153 countries and regions having registered for the event.
Participants’ huge enthusiasm for the CIFTIS reflects their recognition of China’s bright economic prospects and the great importance they attach to China’s market opportunities. As a major global player in service trade, China saw its value added of the service sector reach 29.6 trillion yuan ($4.58 trillion) during the first half of the year.
Through the platform of the CIFTIS, companies in the world can take the express train of China’s development, capture new business opportunities in service trade, and together fuel global service trade growth, said Jose Ricardo dos Santos Luz Junior, CEO of the international branch of Brazil’s Group of Corporate Leaders in China.
In recent years, a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation has sprouted, giving impetus to digital technologies, boosting in-depth integration of industries, and sparking the vibrant growth of service economy.
Over the past year or so, services related to such fields as telemedicine, online education, sharing platform, collaboration system, and cross-border e-commerce have been widely used amid COVID-19 outbreaks, playing a significant role in stabilizing the economy of countries and promoting international anti-pandemic cooperation.
A special section for digital services has been added to this year’s CIFTIS for the first time, bringing consumers closer to products and technologies featuring service innovation, especially new services catering to digital economy.
This year’s CIFTIS also includes a thematic exhibition on health services for the first time. By showcasing scientific and technological achievements made in combating the virus, the exhibition is expected to inject new impetus into global cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The CIFTIS has signaled China’s firm determination to open its door wider to the rest of the world.
In this age of economic globalization, countries share economic interdependency and intertwined interests like never before, Xi said in his speech at the 2020 CIFTIS, noting that treating each other with sincerity and pursuing shared benefits holds the key to state-to-state relations in today’s world.
By building platforms including the CIFTIS and the China International Import Expo, China aims to promote policy exchange and experience-sharing, foster diverse partnerships with foreign governments, international organizations, business associations, and enterprises, and eventually make more fruits from practical cooperation benefit people in different countries, according to Xi.
Foreign government officials and scholars believe that the CIFTIS has allowed Chinese and foreign businesspeople to talk over and seek ways to mutually beneficial cooperation, promoted the cross-border flow of production factors and helped the world enjoy the dividends of China’s opening-up and that China’s steps toward further opening-up have shown the world the dawn of a victory against the virus and economic recovery.
It is believed that countries participating in the 2021 CIFTIS will continuously uphold openness and cooperation, forge greater synergy in growing trade in services, seek new ways and more areas of cooperation, and look for the widest possible converging interests in development to make the “pie” of win-win cooperation bigger and bigger and boost world economic recovery and development through the platform of the 2021 CIFTIS.