China to further ease market access in service sector: Official

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China will continue to ease market access in its service sector by further shortening the negative list of foreign investment, a commerce official said Saturday.

The country will promote the expansion and opening-up of the service industry, accelerate the innovative development of service trade, and foster new growth drivers for high-quality trade development, said Vice Commerce Minister Wang Bingnan at the ongoing 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.

“The service economy has become a new driving force for economic growth and a hot spot for global cooperation,” Wang said at a forum on emerging trends in the opening-up and development of trade in services.

According to the official, despite disruptions caused by COVID-19, the growth of knowledge-intensive service trade, as represented by computer information services, has injected new impetus into the global economic recovery and boosted confidence in it.

In the past five years, China’s service trade registered an annual average growth of 4.7 percent, with service imports and exports amounting to 785 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, said Wang, adding that the rapid development of China’s trade in services has also made positive contributions to the world economy.

Next, China will move faster to open up healthcare, culture, education and telecommunication, among other sectors, and introduce a negative list for cross-border trade in services, Wang said.

Institutional and structural arrangements for opening-up will be enhanced to unleash the huge potential of the China market, he added. 

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