13 March 2017
MOFCOM Issues 13th Five-Year Plan for Trade in Services
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently promulgated the 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Trade in Services (see Plan in Chinese) which points out that every effort must be made during the 13th Five-Year Plan period to achieve a higher than global average annual growth rate for China’s trade in services, with sustained increases in the shares of technology-intensive, knowledge-intensive and high value-added services in the country’s total exports of services.
The Plan points out the need to build three core areas for trade in services, in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong respectively. The Beijing core area will strive to explore systems and mechanisms suited to the development of the service sector as well as trade in services through the comprehensive reform pilot scheme for further opening up the service sector. The Shanghai core area will support Shanghai in building itself into a key city catering to global trade in services and accelerate the pilot scheme for the innovation and development of trade in services in line with international investment rules of high standards. The Guangdong core area will take the building of pilots for the innovation and development of trade in services in Guangzhou and Shenzhen as an important platform to deeply promote the liberalisation of trade in services in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region and improve the ability of Guangdong in influencing and leading regional trade in services.
China will actively expand the export of new services, including modern information technology that makes use of the internet, and promote the digitalisation of trade in services and the innovation of transaction modes. It will also concentrate efforts on fostering the export of capital-, technology- and knowledge-intensive services, such as services relating to communications, finance, insurance, computer and information services, consultancy, R&D design, intellectual property rights, energy conservation, inspection, testing and certification, environment, and convention and exhibition.
The Plan also underscores the need to further raise the level of co-operation with Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in trade in services and implement the Mainland-Hong Kong and Mainland-Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the CEPA Trade in Services Agreement. Focusing on co-operation on modern services, efforts will be made to strengthen co-operation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macau in areas such as finance, accounting, law, market promotion, logistics, design and intellectual property rights and support co-operation between mainland and Hong Kong and Macau enterprises in opening up markets in countries and regions along the Belt and Road.