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China Issues First Guidance Catalogue for Key Service Export Sectors

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has recently issued the Guidance Catalogue for Key Service Export Sectors. It is expected that China will provide stronger support to high value-added service export sectors covered by the catalogue, such as cross-border settlement and information systems integration.

The catalogue, which has been in the pipeline for two years, is the first of its kind in China. It covers a broad spectrum of services trade, comprising as many as 22 first-tier, 80 second-tier and 178 third-tier categories of services. It serves as an important reference for government departments in rendering more support and guidance to these sectors.

According to an official from the Department of Trade in Services of MOFCOM, this comprehensive catalogue encompasses the 12 major categories of services identified by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). On such basis, the catalogue highlights those key industries to which stronger support and more guidance should be provided. These industries are higher value-added and of greater development potential, such as research and development (R&D) and technical services, radio, film and television broadcasting services, and audiovisual services, etc.  Besides, the catalogue adheres to the “export-oriented” principle, consisting mainly of industries with better export performance or potential, such as computer and information services and construction and engineering services. Dovetailing with existing policies is also emphasised by the catalogue, as it seeks to tally with the supportive approaches and guidance catalogues for various industries to ensure the coordinated implementation of related policies. Finally, the catalogue takes public security into consideration, excluding service areas which may jeopardise national safety and public interest.

Data from MOFCOM shows that the total value of China’s import and export of services increased from US$362.4 billion in 2010 to US$713 billion in 2015, representing an average annual growth rate of14.5% which doubled the global average during the same period. The ranking of China’s trade in services in the world has leapt from the fourth to the second place. China’s services import and export have been growing at a two-digit percentage rate so far this year, and even at a speed of over 20% from March to August. As at the end of August, services trade accounted for 18.1% of China’s external trade, up 2.7 percentage points compared to last year's annual figure.

However, the share of services trade in China’s foreign trade is still below the global average of 22%. The country’s services export accounts for just 6% of the world total, lagging far behind the US. In terms of share, the travel services sector (e.g. travelling and studying abroad) contributes nearly half of China’s services export. The export potential of other industries has yet to be unleashed.

For details of the guidance catalogue in Chinese, please see:

www.mofcom.gov.cn/article/ae/ai/201611/20161101597606.shtml

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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