China's service trade fair eyes cooperation, opening up
The China International Fair for Trade in Services, which opens in Beijing on Thursday, aims to promote deeper cooperation and wider opening-up in service trade and beyond.
The trade fair has attracted more than 10,000 enterprises from 153 countries and regions. Among them, 2,400 firms will showcase their products and services offline.
Up to 18 percent of offline exhibitors are Fortune 500 companies and leading enterprises, up 9 percentage points from last year, according to the organizers.
"China will continue to ease market access in the service industry and further open up key service sectors," said Wang Bingnan, China's vice minister of commerce, adding that such events as the CIFTIS can help the country's export of competitive services and import of high-quality ones.
Beijing received approval from the State Council last September during the 2020 CIFTIS to expand the opening-up in the service industry and build a national comprehensive demonstration zone to further such efforts.
The demonstration zone is expected to facilitate trade, investment, cross-border flow of capital, employment, transportation, as well as the safe and orderly flow of data by 2030.
In less than a year, a number of projects by leading enterprises and foreign investors have been established in the capital, with favorable policies and an improved business environment benefiting both companies and customers.
The workshop of Naton Group, a medical enterprise based in Beijing, specializes in making orthopedic products such as new generation knee prostheses and medical polymer materials.
"With frequent and in-depth exchanges in the industry, the tax cost brought by technology transfer was high," said Dong Xiang, vice president of the company.
"Beijing launched a pilot enterprise income tax policy for technology transfer, increasing the amount of exempted income from technology transfer from 5 million yuan (US$770,000) to 20 million yuan," Dong said. "The policy has also boosted the confidence of our continuous investment in research and development."
The changes in Beijing signify China's unwavering determination to push for higher-level opening-up. In the process of building a new development pattern, many cities in China have become "hot spots" for high-level opening supported by a series of favorable policies.
Four pilot zones for deepening opening-up in service trade have been added in Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hainan.
Exemplary practices concerning innovative development in service trade are promoted across the country. A total of 16 new bases for cultural export have been set up. China is on the fast track in deepening reform and pursuing a system of an open economy.
China has been the world's second largest country in terms of service trade for years. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), China's service import and export totaled US$3.6 trillion, posting an increase of 29.7 percent over the 12th Five-Year Plan period.
"More win-win cooperation has been seen and a new wave of high-level opening-up is surging," said Zhuang Rui, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.