China's foreign trade in services grew steadily in 2018, ranking second in the world for a fifth consecutive year, as the sector became the biggest driver in the Chinese economy, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday.
(File Photo: VCG)
Services trade rose 11.5 percent year-on-year to 524 million yuan ($75.84 million). The growth rate exceeded the global average growth, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan told a press conference on Wednesday.
Wang said this sector is now a driving force for the Chinese economy. In 2018, services trade accounted for 14.7 percent of total foreign trade, compared with 11.1 percent in 2012. The services sector was also the leading force of economic growth in 2018 by a significant margin, contributing 52.2 percent of GDP, surpassing the secondary industry by 11.5 percentage points.
Wang said first-quarter services trade reached 1.29 trillion yuan, up 2.6 percent year-on-year, with exports up 10.3 percent to 463.5 billion yuan and imports of emerging new services up 12.6 percent to 458 billion yuan.
Wang also said that China had a services trade deficit of about $200 billion in 2018, including with the US, which accounted for about 17 percent of total services trade, the second-biggest trade partner of the Chinese mainland.
The sector is optimizing its structure, with knowledge-intensive services fast expanding, Wang said. In 2018, knowledge-intensive services, including professional business and legal services, accounted for 32.4 percent of the services trade, up 20.7 percent year-on-year to 1.7 trillion yuan.