On September 3, the Summit Forum on Trends and the Latest Developments of Digital Trade of the 2021 CIFTIS was held at China National Convention Center in Beijing. Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of Commerce attended and addressed the Forum. Cui Shuqiang, Executive Vice Mayor of the Beijing Municipality and Han Xia, Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology were also among the 200 or so delegates from related departments, provinces and businesses.
In his speech, Wang Bingnan noted that with the dissemination of modern information and communication technologies and the rapid development of the digital economy, digital trade with data as a factor of production, digital services at core and digital delivery as a key feature is thriving. Digital trade is becoming a major component of the digital economy and a key trend of global trade development.
He pointed out that China actively pursues data industrialization and industrial digitalization, promoting the deep integration of digital technology and economic and social development. China’s digital trade has grown rapidly with world-leading scale and speed. according to the estimate of UNCTAD, China’s trade in services delivered digitally reached USD294.76 billion in 2020, up 8.3% despite the pandemic. Accounting for 44.5% of total trade in services, its share is up 13.9 percentage points as compared to the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Digital trade has played an important role in narrowing the deficit and enhancing the competitiveness of China’s trade in services.
Wang emphasized that anchored in the new development stage, MOFCOM will enforce the new development concepts, serve the development of the new paradigm, and work to promote the innovative development of China’s digital trade through higher-level opening-up. First, top-down design will be accelerated to dive deep and propose work measures for digital trade that suit China’s reality. Second, institutional opening-up will be promoted in the digital sector with the negative list for cross-border trade in services rolled out nationwide. Third, digital trade demonstration zones will be built to guide local pilots based on opening-up platforms like pilot FTZs, free trade port and the pilots for the innovative development of trade in services. Fourth, international cooperation will be strengthened for constructive participation in international rule-making and upholding the multilateral trading system. Fifth, a favourable policy environment will be developed by working with related departments to introduce policy measures that support national bases for digital services exports.
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