China will continue to support trade liberalization and economic globalization, actively open its market to the world, Xian Guoyi, the head of the service trade department of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday.
Xian made the remarks at a press conference where the MOFCOM released its first report on China’s services import on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
“China’s services imports rank the second in the world,” Xian said. “In 2017, China’s total services imports was 467.59 billion US dollars.”
China’s services import also constitutes an important driving force for the steady development of global trade in services. The report shows that since 2012, the contribution of China’s imports of services to the growth of global services imports has reached 25.8 percent, accumulatively boosting 4.2 percent of the growth in global services imports.
Meanwhile, China’s services imports are considerably larger than its services export. “The country’s trade deficit in services was 100 million dollars in 2001 and expanded to 79.72 billion dollars in 2012, which saw an increase of nearly 800 times and an average annual growth rate of 83.6 percent,” Xian said.
“In 2017, China’s trade deficit in services further increased to 239.5 billion dollars, three times that of 2012,” he added.
The report also shows that the US is China’s second largest source of services imports, and the largest source of service trade deficit.
China imported 87.08 billion dollars’ worth of service from the US, accounting for 18.6 percent of China’s total services import. “Travel is the most vigorous part with the highest potential between the two countries,” the report said.
The global economic landscape is facing profound changes, trade protectionism is on the rise, the report said, “The role of traditional economic drivers and engines has weakened, China has proactively expanded its services imports which is in the common interest of the people of all countries in the world.”