On the afternoon of May 28, the opening ceremony of 2019 China International Fair for Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as "2019 CIFTIS ") & Global Trade in Services Summit was held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. Cai Qi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee read President Xi's letter of congratulation at the conference. Hu Chunhua, Vice Premier of the State Council investigated the exhibition hall and delivered a keynote speech. Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce delivered a speech. Chen Jining, Mayor of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality and Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of Commerce presided over the meeting. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, Charlot Salwai, Prime Premier of Vanuatu, representatives of foreign governments, persons in charge of related international organizations, as well as domestic and foreign famous entrepreneurs focused on the theme of "Global Service, Mutual Benefit and Co-existence" and made speeches about the development opportunities of investment and trade, maintenance of the multilateral trade system, and the digital economy's promoting the new development tendency of trade in services. Around 500 domestic and foreign guests participated in the summit, including ambassadors to China, representatives from Hong Kong and Macao, representatives of the provinces, cities and districts, and famous entrepreneurs.
Hu Chunhua, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council: China will work together with all parties to create new growth drivers for world economy
Hu Chunhua, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council expressed in his keynote speech that, the world is embracing profound changes in the economic and industrial landscape. With rapid progress in servitization of manufacturing and digitization of services, the service sector is playing an increasingly prominent role in global value chains, ushering new development opportunities for global trade in services. China would like to work together with all parties for sustaining the sound development momentum of global trade in services, and creating new growth drivers for world economy. Specifically,
(i) Promote cooperation in trade in services under the "Belt and Road" framework. By enhancing strategy synergy and policy communication with all parties, China will grasp opportunities brought by the "Belt and Road" Initiative, to conduct extensive cooperation in traditional service areas including logistics, transportation, warehousing and distribution, and break new ground in R&D design, service outsourcing, digital economy, ecological environment protection and other cooperation areas. We will also step up our efforts in third-party market cooperation, in a bid to deliver win-win outcomes in a broader range.
(ii) Open the service industry wider mutually. China will join hands with all parties to orderly relax restrictions on market access in the service sector and clear the way for the unimpeded flow of factors of service. Besides, more efforts will be directed to facilitate personnel exchanges, promote consultation and cooperation in mutual recognition and standardization of qualifications, and lift the liberalization and facilitation level of trade in services.
(iii) Create a favorable market environment for trade in services. China will intensify exchanges with and learn from various parties in terms of trade in services regulation, promotion, statistics and talent cultivation, and pay more attention to protecting the intellectual property rights, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc. By doing so, we will move faster towards a fair, transparent and predictable market environment for services and further unlock the development potential of trade in services.
(iv) Foster and rely on the international platform to enhance exchanges and cooperation in trade in services. China will take an active part in building international platforms of trade in services, and do a good job in organizing China International Import Expo (CIIE), China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) and other professional exhibitions and forums, so as to promote negotiations concerning trade in services as well as the implementation of cooperation projects.
Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce: China sees greater vigor in open economy
Mr. Zhong Shan noted in his speech that, entering 2019, China's macro economy remains on an upward trajectory on the basis of steady performance. Let me further explain this with some facts. The steps in high-quality development are expedited; the economic structure is continuously optimized; the service sector continues to make more contributions to economic growth; the foreign trade, utilization of foreign capital and overseas investment keep growing; and the open economy embraces greater development vigor.
As stressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in many international occasions, including the First China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, China will stay steadfast to opening wider to the outside world and release series of new major initiatives in promoting openness. We will firmly grasp the gist of President Xi's speeches on these occasions and effectively promote the implementation of the following major initiatives:
(i) Enhance policy communication and strategy synergy. We will deepen economic and trade cooperation with more countries and regions, and push forward international cooperation in jointly building the "Belt and Road".
(ii) Continue to relax restrictions on market access. We will open the finance, telecommunication, medical care, education, and culture areas wider to the outside world.
(iii) Expeditiously formulate supporting laws and regulations for the Foreign Investment Law of the People's Republic of China, enhance protection of intellectual property rights and create a world-class business environment.
(iv) Reinforce innovation guidance, propel innovation in trade in services, foster new business patterns and modes, and increase the vitality of market entities.
(v) Rely on the platforms of CIIE and CIFTIS to strengthen openness and cooperation, expand the scale and improve the quality of goods and services.
Promoting the opening up of trade in services is an important step China takes to drive the new round of high-level opening up. It's hoped that various parties can share China's development opportunities and achieve shared and win-win development via the CIFTIS platform. We will jointly safeguard the multilateral trade system, and contribute to the construction of an open world economy and a community of shared future for mankind.
Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General of WTO: Digitalization is transforming some fundamentals of international trade and services
Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General of WTO said in his speech that, as international trade continues to be jeopardized by the rise of protectionism, the importance of market opening in services and the rule-based multilateral trading system can never be overemphasized. First and foremost, digitalization is transforming some fundamentals of international trade and services.
New digital technologies blur the line between goods and services. Manufacturing is now characterised by computer-integration, 3D printing, automation, advanced analytics of big data and the Internet of Things. This is so-called the fourth industrial revolution whereby digital technologies integrate manufacturing with the supply of services. The data-driven, digital platform is conceived to coordinate numerous functions along the supply chain and has become a dominant business model across all industries. Digital platforms, now at the heart of the supply chain management, are by nature the supply of services.
Market opening continues to be essential for services trade in the digital age. Digital transformation has increased the complexity of services trade transactions and poses regulatory challenges in many aspects. Therefore, when embracing digitalization, governments need to strike a right balance between different policy objectives, which is not an easy task. In addressing regulatory challenges of digitalization, it is important to keep services markets open. In the digital economy, developing countries must overcome more challenges than developed countries. Protectionism is definitely NOT the solution. Rather, only through building an open business environment would it be possible to address the challenges.
Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD: CIFTIS drives the globalization of trade in services
Mr. Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD said in his speech that, the service sector plays an important role in promoting the development of economies and we shall improve the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry through building a high-quality service sector. The current three situations confronting us highlight the importance of CIFTIS this year.
(i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) National barriers to trade in services are mounting in numbers. The 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.
"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. Let's join hands together to explore the path to promote trade in service and create a favorable trading environment, so as to make everyone share the benefits of the digital trade," Mr. Ludger Schuknecht said.
Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger: Niger is home to many tangible investment opportunities
In his speech, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, expressed his gratitude to CIFTIS for recommending the investment opportunities in Niger. Niger is one of the largest producers of oil and minerals in the world, as well as the home of many other resources such as gold, iron, lithium, tin and coal. The country boasts a huge oil and gas reserve, with its oil reserves exceeding 700million barrels. Moreover, Niger is also one of the countries with the most abundant solar resources. In terms of the industry, Niger is committed to promoting the processing of agricultural products, as well as the development of its superior products including green beans, onions, leather, pork, dairy products, etc. By taking this opportunity, Mahamadou Issoufou hopes to invite all potential investors to invest in Niger, and share the development achievements and business opportunities of Niger.
Charlot Salwai, Prime Minister of Vanuatu: In 2019, Vanuatu will promote direct flights with China
Charlot Salwai, Prime Minister of Vanuatu said in his speech that, China and Vanuatu both enjoy big development potential in the field of trade and investment. It's hoped through the CIFTIS platform, the two sides can enhance business cooperation mutual complementarity. He also welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu has more than 100 languages and a wealth of cultural resources. Agriculture and tourism constitute its two pillars of economic development. In Vanuatu, there are 80% people engaged in agricultural production. The agriculture and tourism account for 20% and 40% of GDP, respectively. Besides, Vanuatu has great potential for the development of the service sector, attracting the investment of many foreign enterprises in construction of holiday and tourism facilities, among others.
With a diversity of cultures and languages and a beautiful and hospitable environment, Vanuatu looks forward to deepening trade cooperation with the Chinese government and private enterprises, and achieving strategic results with China at 2019 CIFTIS.
Vanuatu has been continuously improving its domestic investment environment. In 2019, China and Vanuatu will advance progress in aviation agreements and open direct flights between two countries. I hope Vanuatu can attract 500,000 Chinese tourists every year, and welcome more Chinese enterprises to invest in construction of hotels, tourist facilities and transportation facilities in Vanuatu.