Beijing Hosts New Annual Trade In Service Fair

Set to take place from May 28 through to June 1, 2012, at Beijing’s China National Convention Center under the theme of Trade in Services: New Vision, New Opportunity and New Development, the China (Beijing) International Fair For Trade In Services (CIFTIS) is the first of what will become an annual event aimed at developing the service trade as an important sector of the country’s economy. As the host city for CIFTIS, Beijing plans to lead by example in efforts to achieve China’s goal, and is looking to increase its current strength in service trade from 75 to 78 percent by 2015.

Defined by organizers as a national-level, internationalized and comprehensive fair showcasing trade in services, CIFTIS is believed to be the only trading platform of its kind, in that it covers twelve fields of trade as defined by the World Trade Organization (WTO). These include business services; construction and related engineering services; communication services; education services; distribution services; environmental services; health and social services; financial services; tourism and travel related services; transportation services; and recreational culture and sports services.

CIFTIS will kick off with opening ceremonies and summit forums, with the program including high-level forums, a comprehensive exhibition, specialized trade talks and authoritative information releases. As a B2B platform the fair will facilitate deal-making and project negotiations between Chinese and foreign enterprises in the aforementioned trade in services. Theme days, complete with presentations and Q&A sessions will be held for the United Kingdom (May 28); Australia (May 29); Africa (May 29); Japan (May 30); Israel (May 30); Singapore (May 30); Uruguay (May 31); and Republic of Korea (May 31).

While trade and manufacturing have lost some momentum in China, the country’s trade in service surged to US$410 billion in 2011 – the number four spot in global rankings. The United States, however, topped US$900 billion in 2011, indicating the room for growth in China’s market. China’s five-year plan to promote trade in services aims to reach US$600 billion by 2015, representing an average annual growth of more than 11 percent.

CIFTIS has been approved by China’s State Council, Ministry of Commerce and People’s Government of Beijing Municipality.Sixteen agencies of China’s Central government also support the initiative, along with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the Organization of Economic Cooperation.