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Overseas Guests

Ludger Schuknecht

I would like to point out the current three situations to highlight the importance of China International Fair for Trade in Services this year.

(i) China is a major driver of global economic growth. The 2019 OECD Economic Survey of China shows that China accounted for about a quarter of the world's GDP growth in 2018. Despite a sustained slowdown in 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 uncertainties in trade. 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 such a challenging environment, we need to further promote trade in services, including the development of open, transparent and competitive policies, which is consistent with the G20's strategic demand on trade growth of 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit. The OECD is working with WTO and World Bank to provide policy assistance to G20 members to improve efficiency, productivity and welfare, and reduce costs of trade in services. This goal is also very important for China, as the service industry has accounted for more than half of China's domestic output, a figure that will rise further as the Chinese economy shifts to high-quality service-led growth. Moreover, China's Five-Year Plan for National Economy also prioritizes trade in services. It is also pointed out in OECD 2019 Report on Policy Trends in Trade in Services that, in 2018, after China implemented special administrative measures for entry of foreign investment, China's performance in reform is also very prominent. The OECD looks forward to cooperating with the Ministry of Commerce and the Development Research Center of the State Council in the filed of China's service sector. We hope to carry out this cooperation project and continue to support APEC's service environment investigation.

The service industry is very important to the economy, and high-quality service industry is also crucial to improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry. The advanced service industry can help the manufacturing industry to accelerate the flow of goods in the value chain, and can also realize the creation of value by providing customized services and integrated solutions. Barriers to trade in services inhibit growth and employment creation, hinder innovation, and increase trade costs, and these costs are becoming more and more worthy of our attention as the digital economy allows us to enter the global market.

 

[On the morning of May 28, Global Trade in Services Summit]