News of Beijing Business Today (Reported by Tao Feng and Wang Yinhao) on the morning of May 28, the Opening Ceremony & Global Trade in Services Summit of China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) was held at the China National Convention Center. Mr. Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD delivered a speech at the conference, stating that the service sector plays an important role in promoting the development of economy and we shall improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry through building a high-quality service sector. The current three situations confronting us highlights the importance of CIFTIS this year.
First, the 2019 OECD Economic Survey of China confirms that China is a major driver of global economic growth. China accounted for about a quarter of the world’s GDP growth in 2018. Despite a sustained slowdown of China's growth rate, China still presents a strong growth momentum according to international standards.
Second, the global economic growth is influenced by the exacerbation of trade tensions. As expected by the Economic Outlook, the global economic growth is forecasted to be 3.2% in 2019, largely due to the uncertainties in trade.
Third, as national barriers to trade in services are mounting in numbers, new limitations on trade in services will impact the whole economic landscape, involving all walks of life. In the face of such a challenging environment, it's imperative for us to take actions to further promote the trade in services than ever before, including formulation of open, transparent and competitive policies. The barriers to trade in services will impede innovation and increase trade costs. Against the backdrop of global market access provided by quality economy, we need to pay more attention to these costs.
"The core of addressing the challenges to world economy lies in building the open, inclusive and transparent trade in services. As a crucial forum, CIFTIS gathers us together to discuss this issue in a timely manner and jointly explore the path to promote trade in service and create a favorable trading environment, thus making everyone share the benefits of the digital trade," Mr. Ludger Schuknecht said.