What does CIFTIS mean to China and the world?
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A corner of indoor exhibition area of China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. (Photo: Xu Zheqi/People's Daily)

The 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), with the theme of "Global Services, Shared Prosperity", kicked off Friday at Beijing's China National Convention Center and will last six days.

“Holding a service trade fair at this particular point of time is a strong signal to the world,” Li Zhang, vice president of International Data Group China, told the Xinhua News Agency. But what signal did Li mean?

Industrial transformation

This high-quality fair necessarily activates the vitality of the service trade.

As a key component of the international value chain, the service trade has significance in many countries in terms of enhancing the value of trade. According to the 2019 Global Trade Report, the world trade in services grew faster than trade in goods from 2005 to 2017, at an average annual growth rate of 5.4 percent.

Compared with trade in goods, trade in services seems invisible. But it actually cannot be separated from people’s daily life. Unlike physical goods, a one-stop service can generate more employment and economic growth through higher added value. This is the charm of trade in services.

The CIFTIS platform strengthens and expands the modern service industry with knowledge, technology and capital, thus accelerating an industrial upgrade.

Opening wider to the outside world

The 2020 CIFTIS is the first major international economic and trade event held offline in China since the COVID-19 pandemic.

China will demonstrate its remarkable achievements in epidemic prevention and economic development to the international community as well as signal a new round of opening-up.

Most recently the world has experienced a troubling wave of unilateralism and protectionism. It is at this time that China is unswervingly opening wider to the outside world in a demonstration of a national sincerity to substantially overcome difficulties with other countries.

This sincerity is not only reflected by the exhibition, but also in efforts to transform the freer flow of goods to the rule-oriented opening of institutions.

International cooperation

The 2020 CIFTIS aims to spread ideas, connect supply and demand, share business opportunities and promote joint development.

The exhibition will feature at least 190 online and offline forums and business negotiation sessions, with over 17,000 companies attending.

Exchanges and cooperation among the world's service and trade powers and companies will guide world economic development, benefit people of all countries and promote the building of a “Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.”

 (Compiled by Wang Pengda)