Trade in services remained stable in 1H amid COVID-19: ministry

Exhibitors introduce commodities at the China International Electronic Commerce Expo 2020 & Digital Trade Expo held in Yiwu International Expo Center, East China’s Zhejiang Province, June 21. Photo by Gong Xianming/People’s Daily Online

China’s trade in services remained stable in the first half of the year despite suffering a contraction amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has seen the flow of consumers slow to a trickle, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Wednesday.

China’s exports in services actually outperformed imports in services and other major services-exporting countries in the first six months of 2020, with rapid growth in new segments such as intellectual property franchises, insurances services, and information services growing at above a 15 percent annual rate, helping to narrow the services trade deficit by 344 billion yuan ($49.7 billion), according to Xian Guoyi, a MOFCOM official.

“The pandemic has caused a worldwide economic recession and greatly reduced global demand, bringing vast changes to the global services trade pattern and consumption model, but also opportunities in areas such as digitalization,” Xian said.

Xian made the remark at an online press conference outlining China’s new round of trade in services pilot programs that offered more than 80 new items in sectors including transportation and travel and education, and put an emphasis on China’s western and northeastern regions.

Xian said digital trade, copyright trading and online education are becoming the new growth points for exports in services.

China’s new round of pilot programs aimed at innovating in trade in services is larger in scope than previous rounds, expanding to 28 piloted areas nationwide from 17 in 2018.

The new pilot programs offered further facilitation for foreign services providers in exhibition, shipping, cross border commercial medical insurance and engineering consultation.

Source: Global Times

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