Services trade fair to help industries

Updated: 2012-03-03 09:56

By Li Jiabao (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China's first specialized fair for the services trade will be held in May to deepen the country's engagement in globalization and its upgrade of industries, officials said on Friday.

The China (Beijing) International Fair for Trade in Services is to be held in Beijing from May 28 to June 1. Services and manufacturing enterprises from home and abroad will be brought together for project negotiations and "trade-partner matchmaking" during the fair, which covers 30 business areas including outsourcing of services, financial services and technology trading.

The event will also see the publication of industry reports, including one focusing on China's medical and healthcare industries. Other reports will look into the competitiveness of the nation's services outsourcing and talent outsourcing.

"Developed countries have long taken advantage of their superiority in the services industry, including research and development, design and marketing, for high added-value. But recent years have seen the BRICS countries overtake them in the development of the services industry, which has become an important channel for the emerging economies to deepen their participation in globalization," Zhou Liujun, director-general of the Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services under the Ministry of Commerce, told a news briefing.

Promoting the development of services was listed as a key move to upgrade the structure of China's domestic industry in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) and the share of services in GDP will increase to 47 percent by 2015 from the current level of 43 percent.

China's manufacturing industry will benefit from the development of the services industry, according to Zhou.

"The promotion of the services industry is closely related to the upgrading of the manufacturing industry, which is undergoing a shift from 'Made-in-China' to 'Created-in-China'. The improvement of China's branding and marketing will help manufacturers increase their competitiveness in the global market," Zhou said.

Ding Ningning, a research fellow at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that the development of services will "bridge the expansion of domestic demand".

"The promotion of the services industry will advance China's logistics and reduce costs for enterprises," said Ding.

However, compared with developed economies, China's services industry "is not well-structured and remains a small proportion of overall trade", according to Zhou.

Lu Yan, director-general of Beijing municipal commerce commission, suggested deeper cooperation with advanced regions.

"Hong Kong is well developed in its services industry, including financing, exhibitions and tourism, and Beijing can combine those advantages with its services industry through the fair," he said.