On the morning of May 28, the opening ceremony of 2019 CIFTIS as well as the Global Trade in Services Summit were held at the China National Convention Center. Cai Qi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, read a congratulatory letter from President Xi Jinping to the fair. Vice Premier Hu Chunhua inspected the exhibition area and delivered a keynote speech. Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan also addressed the event. Mayor of Beijing Chen Jining and Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan presided over the meeting. Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, representatives of overseas governments, heads of relevant international organizations and well-known entrepreneurs from home and abroad focused on the theme of "Global Services, Mutual and Shared Benefits," and made speeches about the development opportunities of investment and trade, maintenance of the multilateral trade system, and the digital economy's role in promoting the new development trend of trade in services. The summit was attended by nearly 500 guests from home and abroad, including ambassadors to China, representatives from Hong Kong and Macao, representatives of mainland provincial level regions, as well as well-known entrepreneurs.
As the 2019 CIFTIS opened in Beijing on May 28, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the fair.
Xi pointed out that with the deepening of economic globalization, trade in services has become a key part of international trade and an important area for economic and trade cooperation among nations, injecting new impetus to the world economic growth. There are broad prospects and huge potential for the development of service trade, all sides should seize the opportunity and work together to forge a bright future of global services with mutual and shared benefits.
Xi stressed that China is committed to promoting higher-standard opening up, firmly upholds the multilateral trade system, and will expand market access for foreign capital in broader areas and create a first-class business environment. China is willing to deepen cooperation on service trade and investment with other countries, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive and balanced so that all share its benefits. The theme of this year's fair is "Openness, Innovation, Intelligence and Integration." It is hoped that delegates and guests at the fair deepen exchanges, build consensus and strengthen cooperation to contribute to the prosperity of global trade in services, lead the world economy in the right direction, bring benefits to the people of all countries and build a community with a shared future for humanity.
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua delivering a keynote speech:
At present, the global economic and industrial pattern is undergoing profound changes. The manufacturing sector is becoming increasingly service-based, the service industry is seeing faster pace of digitization, and the position of the service industry in global value chain is becoming more and more prominent. Global service trade has ushered in an important period of opportunity. China is willing to work with different parties to maintain the sound momentum of global trade in services to inject new momentum into world economic growth. First, China will promote cooperation in service trade under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Second, we will further open up the service sector to one another. Third, we should create a market environment conducive to the development of trade in services. Fourth, we should foster and make good use of international platforms for exchanges and cooperation in trade in services. China will actively participate in various international cooperation platforms for trade in services, promote negotiationson trade in services, and push forward the implementation of cooperation projects.
Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce:
Since the beginning of this year, China's macroeconomic performance has been generally stable, maintaining the momentum of steady growth with sound progress. The pace of high-quality development was accelerated, the economic structure was continuously optimized, and the contribution of the service sector to economic growth continued to increase. Foreign trade, foreign direct investment into China and outbound investment continued to grow, and the vitality of the open economy was further enhanced. On several international occasions, President Xi Jinping stressed that China has been unswervingly expanding its opening up, and announced a series of new and significant measures to open up to the outside world. We will earnestly implement and promote the effective implementation of these major measures. Expanding the opening up of service trade is an important part of China's drive for a new round of high-level opening up.
Mahamadou Issoufou, Nigerien President:
Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou said that he was delighted to introduce Niger's investment opportunities on the platform of the CIFTIS. Niger is one of the world's largest oil producers and has other resources such as gold, iron, lithium, tin and coal. Niger also has huge reserves of oil and gas, with oil reserves over 700 million barrels. Niger is also one of the countries with the most abundant solar energy resources. In the industrial field, the country is committed to the processing of agricultural products. Green beans, onions, leather, pork and dairy products are all Niger's competitive products. He hoped to take the opportunity to invite all potential investors to invest in Niger, share the development achievements and seize the business opportunities.
CharlotSalwai, Vanuatu Prime Minister:
Vanuatu and China have great potential in trade and investment. It is hoped that Vanuatu can expand commercial cooperation with China through the fair, and welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Vanuatu. Vanuatu has more than 100 languages and rich cultural resources. The economy is dominated by agriculture and tourism, with 80 percent of the population engaged in agricultural production. Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of GDP and tourism accounts for 40 percent. At the same time, Vanuatu's service sector has great potential and has attracted huge foreign investment, mainly in the construction of holiday and tourism facilities. Vanuatu has a diverse culture and language, as well as a beautiful environment, and it looks forward to deepening trade cooperation with the Chinese government and enterprises. The country looks forward to achieving strategic results with the help of the fair. It is also constantly improving its domestic investment environment.
WeerasakKowsurat, Vice Minister of the Tourism and Sports of Thailand:
The relations between China and Thailand have a long history of more than 2,000 years old. The close relations between the two countries have deepened the relations between the two countries and the cultural and people-to-people exchanges. For more than 40 years, China's reform and opening-up policy has enabled China to cooperate with other countries, including economic, trade and tourism exchanges and cooperation with Thailand. I sincerely appreciate the firm will and conviction of the Chinese government in its commitment to China's development and prosperity, as well as its openness for trade with the world. China has now become the world's second largest economy, the world's largest industrial producer, and the world's largest country in terms of foreign trade volume.
Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General of the WTO:
Digitization is transforming international trade and the service sector at the fundamental level. New digital technology blurs the boundaries between goods and services. Manufacturing is now characterized by computer in-tegration, 3D printing, automation, high-level analysis of big data, and the Internet of Things. This is the so-called "Fourth Industrial Revolution." Through this revolution, digital technology has brought together manu-facturing and services. At the same time, data-driven digital platforms are designed to coordinate many of the functions in the supply chain and have become the dominant business model in all industries. In digital economy, developing countries must overcome more challenges than developed ones, but protectionism is by no means the way out. On the contrary, these challenges can be met only by creating an open business environment.
Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD:
The service industry is important to the whole economies, and a high-quality service sector is critical to improving manufacturing competitiveness. The current situation, explained in the following three aspects, highlights the importance of this year's CIFTIS. First, the Chinese people are an important driving force of economic growth. Second, global economic growth is facing greater trade tensions. Third, service trade barriers are on the rise in many countries. These new restrictions on trade in services tend to have an impact on the economy as a whole, affecting all sectors of the economy. In such a challenging environment, we need more than ever to further promote trade in services, with measures including the development of open, transparent and competitive policies. Trade barriers to services hinder innovation and increase trade costs.
Wang Binying, Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization:
Intellectual property has undoubtedly become a key strategic resource for the survival and development of multinational enterprises in particular, and also determines the competitiveness of enterprises in the market today -- whether in the domestic or foreign markets. With the globalization of the economy, or the deepening of the integration process, service enterprises are also becoming globalized. To deal with the different characteristics of overseas markets and reduce the potential risks, especially the related risks in intellectual property rights, it has become a very important and unavoidable topic. We need to deal with it properly and have long-term strategic solutions.