China to import over 2.5 trillion US dollars in services
Service Trade Department of China's Ministry of Commerce holds a press conference on the sidelines of China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Tuesday Nov.6th 2018.[Photo: chinadaily.com.cn]
China is projecting that it will import over two-point-five trillion U.S. dollars in services over the next five years, in an effort to spur high-quality development and economic growth.
The Ministry of Commerce released the Report on China's Services Imports during the country's first International Import Expo, which is underway in Shanghai.
According to China's Services Import Report, China will account for more than ten percent of the global share of services imports, and will contribute over 20 percent to their global growth over the next five years.
According to Xian Guoyi, the head of the Service Trade Department in China's Ministry of Commerce, this will create a broader market for the world, and in doing so will deliver greater benefits for the world economy.
"China is taking the initiative to expand its imports of services, and to participate in the international division of labor in a deeper way. China is also making contributions to the world's economic recovery and global economic governance. All of these things have proved that China is shouldering its responsibility as a major country," says Xian.
The report notes that China has seen an accelerated growth in services imports since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Its services imports surged to over 467 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up from around 39 billion in 2001. Xian stressed that China needs to expand its import of services in order to take its development to a higher level.
"As the world's largest developing economy, China is experiencing an important stage of the transformation and upgrading of its economy, as it moves towards high-quality development. So China now has a strong demand for producer services, including research and development, energy-saving, environmental protection, and information technology."
Over the next five years, China expects to import over 700 billion U.S. dollars in emerging services, including charges for the use of intellectual property. According to the Commerce Department report, China spent over 28 billion U.S. dollars on intellectual property imports last year. This is a nearly 14 fold increase on what it spent in 2001. The United States was the leading source for these imports, followed by Japan and Germany. Xian explains the role of the imports to the economy.
"China is building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which features a constant rise in the level of lifestyle services, and a rapid growth in the demand for lifestyle services from the healthcare, cultural, creative industries. So expanding services imports is conducive to advancing the high-quality development of China's economy, and for satisfying people's desire for a better life," says Xian.
On tourism, Xian said that China's outbound tourists have generated considerable wealth and a large number of jobs in countries all over the world. The Commerce Department report said that the country's outbound travel contributed more than 10 percent to tourism growth internationally.
During his opening address on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the country would import up to 30 trillion U.S. dollars of goods and 10 trillion U.S. dollars in services over the next 15 years.