Ser­vices trade growth out­paces that of goods

Trend is ex­pected to con­tinue, with to­tal ex­ceed­ing $1 tril­lion in 2020

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By LI JI­ABAO li­ji­abao@chi­

The na­tion’s ser­vices trade grew faster than its goods trade in 2013, a trend that’s set to con­tinue, of­fi­cials said on Thurs­day.

“China’s trade in ser­vices main­tained ro­bust growth in 2013 and is es­ti­mated to have ex­ceeded $520 bil­lion, up more than 11 per­cent year-on-year and keep­ing the coun­try the world’s third-largest trader in ser­vices,” Yao Jian, spokesman for the Min­istry of Com­merce, told re­porters in Bei­jing.

Trade in ser­vices refers to the sale and de­liv­ery of in­tan­gi­ble prod­ucts, or ser­vices, in­clud­ing tourism, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.

Fi­nal 2013 fig­ures aren’t yet in, but in the first 11 months, ser­vices trade ex­panded 12.4 per­cent to $484.7 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

China’s trade in ser­vices has be­come a new high­light of the coun­try’s for­eign trade and will main­tain fast growth in the near fu­ture. The pace will con­tinue to ex­ceed that of goods trade growth” YAO JIAN SPOKESMAN FOR MIN­ISTRY OF COM­MERCE

In 2012, China be­came the world’s third- largest trader in ser­vices with an over­all value of $470.6 bil­lion, ac­count­ing for 5.6 per­cent of the global to­tal.

In 2001, China’s ac­ces­sion to the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion opened up its do­mes­tic mar­ket and trig­gered the fast growth of its trade in ser­vices. Such trade stood at just $71.9 bil­lion in that year.

Growth of the na­tion’s mer­chan­dise trade has slowed in re­cent years, even as the coun­try moves into po­si­tion as the world’s largest goods trader.

Mer­chan­dise value is ex­pected to reach $4.14 tril­lion in 2013, up about 7 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year and ac­count­ing for about 11 per­cent of the world’s to­tal, Com­merce Min­is­ter Gao Hucheng said at the end of De­cem­ber 2013.

Mer­chan­dise trade fig­ures for De­cem­ber, and 2013 as a whole, are due for re­lease on Fri­day. There’s no spe­cific date for re­lease of the fi nal ser­vices trade fig­ures.

“China’s trade in ser­vices has be­come a new high­light of the coun­try’s for­eign trade and will main­tain fast growth in the near fu­ture. The pace will con­tinue to ex­ceed that of goods trade growth,” Yao said.

He added that the value of China’s trade in ser­vices is ex­pected to ex­ceed $600 bil­lion in 2015 and $1 tril­lion in 2020.

“China’s boom­ing trade in ser­vices has mainly been driven by do­mes­tic de­mand, with im­port growth over­whelm­ing ex­port growth. The world econ­omy will not re­verse its slow growth trend in the near fu­ture, de­spite the US eco­nomic re­cov­ery.

“This will slow down China’s goods trade growth and dent re­lated trade in ser­vices,” Yao said.

“China grasped op­por­tu­ni­ties for ser­vices out­sourc­ing from de­vel­oped economies in the past decade, which gave a strong boost to the coun­try’s trade in ser­vices.

“Prospects are bright for fast growth, be­cause the coun­try’s trade in ser­vices made up a small share of its over­all for­eign trade com­pared with the world’s av­er­age.

“The in­crease in China’s house­hold in­come wi l l un­leash op­por­tu­ni­ties in the coun­try’s huge ser­vices mar­ket,” said Long Guo­qiang, a re­searcher at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Center of the State Coun­cil.

China’s ex­ports of ser­vices ac­count for about 9 per­cent of its to­tal ex­ports, much lower than the world av­er­age of 20 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

“The com­pet­i­tive­ness level of China’s ser­vices ex­ports is very low. A ma­jor chal­lenge to the coun­try’s trade in ser­vices comes from ex­ces­sive re­straints and ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures at home,” Long said.

Tourism and trans­port ser­vices, which are tra­di­tional ser­vice sec­tors (as op­posed to high value-added sec­tors such as insurance and fi­nan­cial ser­vices), ac­counted for more than 60 per­cent of the na­tion’s ser­vices trade value in the Jan­uary-Novem­ber pe­riod.

Those tra­di­tional ser­vices have also been the largest con­trib­u­tor to the deficit in ser­vices trade, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

“We’re draft­ing reg­u­la­tions on the man­age­ment of ser­vices ex­ports and im­ports, which will stan­dard­ize the pro­mo­tion, sta­tis­tics and mar­ket ac­cess of ser­vices trade,” said Zhou Li­u­jun, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the min­istry’s depart­ment of trade in ser­vices and com­mer­cial ser­vices.

Qiu Guan­gling, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the min­istry’s depart­ment of for­eign in­vest­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion, said that the min­istry is “mak­ing a timetable” to fur­ther open the ser­vice sec­tor.

For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in the ser­vices sec­tor has ex­ceeded that in man­u­fac­tur­ing since 2011 and that’s ex­pected to con­tinue, Yao said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.