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MOFCOM Regular Press Conference (August 26, 2021)

【Gao Feng】Friends from the media, good afternoon. Welcome to MOFCOM’s regular press conference. First of all, I have an announcement to make.

China’s service outsourcing stats from January to July

From January to July, the contract value and executed value of service outsourcing undertaken by Chinese enterprises reached RMB 976 billion and 650 billion (the same currency hereinafter), up by 27.8% and 26.6% year-on-year respectively. Among them, the contract value and executed value of offshore service outsourcing undertaken was 551.1 billion and 379.1 billion, up by 21.9% and 23.4% year-on-year respectively. (In US dollars, the contract value and executed value of service outsourcing undertaken by Chinese enterprises reached 146 billion and 97.3 billion, up by 32.1% and 30.7% year-on-year respectively. Among them, the contract value and executed value of offshore service outsourcing undertaken was 82.7 billion and 56.8 billion, up by 26.4% and 27%.2 year-on-year respectively.)

In terms of business structure, from January to July 2021, the executed value of Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) undertaken by Chinese enterprises reached 168.6 billion, 63.7 billion and 146.8 billion, up by 21.3%, 21.1% and 27.0% year-on-year respectively.

In terms of regional distribution, from January to July 2021, the total contract value and executed value of offshore service outsourcing in 31 service outsourcing demonstration cities amounted to 453.5 billion and 318 billion, up by 17.4% and 19.5% year-on-year, accounting for 82.3% and 83.9% of the national total respectively. The total contract value and executed value of offshore service outsourcing in the Yangtze River Delta amounted to 253.1 billion and 187.8 billion, up by 7.2% and 13.5%, accounting for 45.9% and 49.5% of the national total respectively.

In terms of the international market, from January to July 2021, the executed value of offshore service outsourcing contracts from the US, HK SAR and the EU undertaken by Chinese enterprises amounted to 78 billion, 72.5 billion and 48.2 billion, up by 21.0%, 31.4% and 13.3% respectively, altogether accounting for 52.4% of the national total. Chinese enterprises undertook offshore service outsourcing contracts from BRI countries with a contract value of 109.6 billion and executed value of 72.2 billion, up by 46.1% and 29.7% year-on-year respectively.

In terms of corporate nature, from January to July 2021, private enterprises undertook offshore service outsourcing contracts worth 142.3 billion, up by 36.5% year-on-year, with an executed value of 98.3 billion, up by 33.4% year-on-year. Foreign-invested enterprises undertook contracts worth 265.8 billion, up by 12.4% year-on-year, accounting for 48.2% of the national total, with an executed value of 171.1 billion, up by 19.1% year-on-year, accounting for 45.1% of the national total.

In terms of employment, by the end of July this year, China’s service outsourcing industry has accommodated 13.39 million employees, among which 8.5 million (63.5%) have a college degree or above. From January to July this year, the service outsourcing industry added 480,000 new jobs, a year-on-year increase of 12.6%. Among them, 310,000 (63.6%) have a college degree or above.

That’s all for the briefing. I’m now ready to take your questions.

The floor is open.

【Kyodo News Agency】Did China’s imports from the United States in the first seven months of this year meet the requirements of China-US trade agreement? It is reported that the U.S. Treasury Secretary plans to come to China to consult with Vice Premier Liu He. What information can China disclose? How is China-US negotiation going?

【Gao Feng】In the first seven months of this year, China-US bilateral trade in goods increased by 40% year-on-year, among which China’s imports from the US increased by 50.4% year-on-year and exports to the US increased by 36.9%. This fully shows that the two economies are highly complementary, and bilateral economic and trade cooperation is in the interests of the two countries and peoples.

The China-US economic and trade team maintained normal communication. I have not yet been informed about the American media reports you mentioned just now. If there is further information, we will release it in time. Thank you.

【HK ET Net】The US-China Business Council sent a letter urging the US government to expand China-US bilateral trade and cancel the tariffs previously imposed due to trade friction. What’s MOFCOM take on this?

【Gao Feng】China has always believed that imposing tariffs is not in the interests of China, of the US itself, and of world economic recovery. Thank you.

【Xinhua News Agency】MOFCOM recently announced the newly-added national e-commerce demonstration bases in 2021. At present, there are 127 bases. Could you brief us on the construction of these bases, like the transaction volume, settled enterprises, personnel? Going forward, what will be the focus of promoting the construction of e-commerce demonstration bases?

【Gao Feng】China’s e-commerce maintained a rapid growth in recent years. The national e-commerce demonstration bases have played an important role in incubating and cultivating small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, driving business type and model innovation and the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, promoting entrepreneurship and employment and advancing rural revitalization. By the end of 2020, a total of 73,500 e-commerce enterprises, an increase of 12.9% compared with the end of 2019, had settled in 127 bases across China. More than 10,000 e-commerce enterprises are being incubated. More than 1.51 million people work in these bases, including 97,600 migrant workers. More than 90% of the demonstration bases have worked on poverty alleviation through e-commerce. In 2020, e-commerce enterprises in these bases obtained a total investment and financing of RMB 41.7 billion and conducted 750,000 person times of e-commerce training. The e-commerce transaction volume totaled RMB 6.37 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 13.3%.

In the next step, MOFCOM will lay eyes on the high-quality development of national e-commerce demonstration bases and focus on four aspects. First, further optimizing the development layout. By strengthening targeted guidance and dynamic adjustment, MOFCOM aims to improve the construction of demonstration bases. After the announcement, the 16 newly-added national e-commerce demonstration bases will be officially launched in time accordingly. Second, supporting exchanges and cooperation among demonstration bases to realize resource sharing, complementary advantages and coordinated development among regions and provinces. Third, supporting and guiding the expansion of the demonstration bases into rural areas. The weak links of insufficient facilities and service shortcomings will be strengthened to facilitate the development of high-quality special agricultural products and the sales of agricultural products to urban areas. Fourth, improving the level of international trade facilitation and promoting the transformation and upgrading of traditional foreign trade by encouraging qualified demonstration bases to “go global”, run business abroad and cooperate with cross-border e-commerce platforms and enterprises. Thank you.

【China Business News】Some foreign trade enterprises complained that they had a hard time in the peak shipment of Christmas supplies this year. The rising prices of raw materials, rising freight and shortage of containers squeeze their profit margin severely. What is the response of MOFCOM?

【Gao Feng】Due to the continuous spread of Covid-19 across the world, rising price of international commodities and structural imbalance of global transport capacity among other factors, foreign trade enterprises have been plagued by high prices of some raw materials and freight and insufficient transport capacities. According to our knowledge, the peak period of Christmas supplies delivery usually lasts from June to August. But considering the risk of demurrage, overseas clients usually place orders in advance after online inspection and issuing. So some orders have been shipped and delivered earlier compared with previous years, and some other orders have been overstocked in domestic warehouses due to difficultly in booking space or high freight, putting pressure on enterprises.

Transport capacity insufficiency and expensive freight are global challenges. MOFCOM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Market Regulation and other institutions, has taken measures to increase container supply, improve maritime transport capacity and strengthen international cooperation. Local governments have also improved shipping services for SMEs to help reduce costs and losses. We will continue to work with relevant institutions and local governments to come up with more targeted measures to stabilize foreign trade, unblock international logistics and strengthen cooperation with trading partners in response to the common challenge. Thank you.

【South China Morning Post】A domestic research institution recently analyzed that after the signing of the Phase One trade deal between China and the US, China has increased imports of agreed products from the US. However, the epidemic and other unfavorable factors might greatly reduce the possibilities for China to complete the import goal of the Phase One deal. Imports of agricultural products is relatively closer to the goal, but imports of manufactured products and energy fall greatly behind the goal. What is the comment of MOFCOM?

【Gao Feng】We have repeated that the two sides should work together to expand trade cooperation by creating favorable atmosphere and conditions and promoting implementation of the trade deal. Thank you.

【The Cover】Recently, MOFCOM released an exposure draft of the industry standard Live E-Commerce Platform Management and Service Specifications. We learned that China has not yet had a complete and detailed industry standard for live e-commerce. What are the highlights in this draft? Will MOFCOM continue to issue more similar guidance documents and detailed standards?

【Gao Feng】The draft Specifications focuses on the key players--live e-commerce platform enterprises, to specify their responsibilities of managing live-stream entities, product and service information and marketing, etc. and service requirements for service capacity, technical support and consumer protection, etc.. The Specifications aims to guide live e-commerce platform enterprises towards better management and service and promote healthy development of this industry.

We hope that the implementation of the Specifications will leverage the technical support of industry standards so that e-commerce platform enterprises could better implement laws, regulations and normative documents such as the E-Commerce Law, Measures for the Administration of Live Marketing (Trial), fulfill their responsibilities and create an enabling market environment.

MOFCOM will continue to strengthen industry standard establishment in key areas and links of e-commerce and leverage the fundamental and leading role of the standards to support the high-quality development of e-commerce. Thank you.

【Red Star News】It is reported that many Lithuanian manufacturers began to worry that they would lose the opportunity to enter the enormous Chinese market. What is MOFCOM’s take on this? What will be the impact on China-Lithuania economic and trade cooperation?

【Gao Feng】We once again urge Lithuania to act in the well-being of the two peoples, immediately correct the wrong practices that seriously damage China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to create favorable conditions for China-Lithuania economic and trade cooperation. Thank you.

【Phoenix Television】As chaos lasts in Afghanistan, what are the current impacts on China-Afghanistan bilateral trade and two-way investment?

【Gao Feng】In 2020, China-Afghanistan bilateral trade reached USD 550 million. From January to June this year, it reached USD 310 million, a year-on-year increase of 44%. By the end of this June, China had invested USD 430 million in Afghanistan.

China is willing to work with the international community to support Afghanistan to begin peaceful reconstruction, improve people’s livelihood and enhance its capacity for independent development. Thank you.

【Gao Feng】Are there any other questions?

Since there are no more questions, this is the end of today’s press conference. Thank you.

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)