BEIJING — China’s service trade surged 11.9 percent year-on-year in the first four months of this year, up from 11.4 percent in Jan-March, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on June 5.
The total value of exports and imports in the service sector stood at 1.67 trillion yuan ($261 billion), according to the MOC.
Exports of trade in services rose 13 percent to 552.61 billion yuan, while imports climbed 11.4 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan, resulting in a deficit of 560 billion yuan.
Trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.
The growth of service trade is a result of rising global demand boosted by global economic growth and government policies to support service trade, said the MOC.
China has taken steps to improve the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up the finance, education, culture and medical treatment sectors.
Last month, the State Council required 17 regions, including Beijing, to deepen the pilot program from July 1 this year to June 30, 2020 to promote innovative development of service trade. The program was first rolled out by the State Council in 2016.
A series of opening-up measures will be piloted in the regions, covering telecommunications, tourism, engineering consulting, finance and legal services. Access mechanisms for trade in services on cross-border delivery and overseas consumption will be explored and refined.
So far, China has opened 120 industries related to service trade to foreign investors, surpassing a goal of 100 industries set when China joined the World Trade Organization nearly two decades ago.