Adhering to the positioning as a state-level, international and comprehensive fair for trade in services, and themed by “Opening-up, Innovation, Integration”, the Fifth China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held 136 forums, conferences, and business talks and transaction activities centering on key areas such as science and technology services, internet and information services, cultural and educational services, financial services, business and tourism services, and healthcare services, with a total exhibition area of 50,000 square meters, attracting 100,000 merchants from 122 countries and regions to exhibit and participate. Hu Chunhua, Vice Premier of the State Council visited the CIFTIS to listen to the reports and guide the work. Cai Qi, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, and Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce, attended the Global Trade in Services Summit and delivered speeches. This session of CIFTIS focused on showcasing the latest achievements of China and participating countries in the development of trade in services, where guests conducted in-depth discussions on the frontiers and hotspots of the development of trade in services. It effectively promoted multi-level exchanges and cooperation among governments, international organizations, business chambers and associations, and enterprises, and played a positive role in promoting the development of international trade in services.
I. Main features
(I) High internationalization degree
Firstly, the number of countries and regions out of China holding exhibitions and conferences increased significantly. A total of 61 countries and regions out of China organized delegations to hold exhibitions and conferences at this session of CIFTIS, 27 more than in the Fourth CIFTIS. Among them, it was the first time for 21 countries including the U.S., Russia, and Finland to organize delegations to hold exhibitions and conferences, and Brazil, the Guest of Honor Country, set up a national exhibition area and held Brazilian Theme Day Activities.
Secondly, international organizations and international business chambers and associations actively participated. Both the three permanent supporting institutions of the CIFTIS (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Trade Organization (WTO), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)) and four international cooperative organizations (World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Trade Centre (ITC), World Trade Point Federation (WTPF), and World Trade Center Association (WTCA)) arranged senior leaders to participate in conferences, and the UNCTAD, OECD, WIPO, and WTPF also hold six international forums including the Belt and Road Forum for Cooperation in Trade in Services and International Forum on the Development of Knowledge Centers for TCM together with related institutions in China. Nearly 100 international business chambers and associations including the European Technology Chamber (EUTECC) and International Information Content Industry Association (ICIA) participated in exhibitions and conferences, with an increase of nearly 40 compared to the Fourth CIFTIS.
(II) Many new technologies and new achievements
Firstly, new technological achievements were centrally displayed. New technologies including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), holographic projection, VR hepatics, smart service robots, and 5G made a concentrated appearance at this session of CIFTIS. Based on big data and artificial intelligence, etc., the Express Services Section focused on displaying new achievements such as automated guided vehicles, unmanned vehicles, intelligent warehouse three-dimensional sorting, and unmanned seaplanes; the E-Commerce Section showcased new applications such as vending machines and Tmall magic mirror based on facial recognition and 3D modeling, etc.; the Artificial Intelligence Section reproduced the grand scene of “Beijing eight-minute show” at the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games through virtual simulation and human-machine interaction technology.
Secondly, traditional service industries were revitalized with new technologies. The Time-Honored Brands exhibition area launched the “Beijing time-honored brand consumption map in VR” to display the real scenes of 152 Beijing time-honored stores through holography; the TCM Section launched a TCM “smart pharmacy” to innovate TCM services using modern information technology and provide patients with online and offline services such as pharmaceutical affair consulting and home delivery of drugs; the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section launched a national intangible cultural heritage spatial information platform to present 1,372 national intangible cultural heritage sites in a panoramic manner in the form of “digital intangible cultural heritage map” using spatial information technology, big data technology, streaming media technology, and cloud computing technology.
(III) Strong industry authority
Firstly, industry leaders were brought together. Industry leaders including Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company, Ma Yun, Chairman of Alibaba Group, Lei Jun, Chairman of Xiaomi Technology Co., Ltd., and Liu Qiangdong, Chairman of JD Group shared new perspectives on the development of the service industry and new trends in the industry development.
Secondly, industry authoritative reports were released. Over 20 authoritative reports were released at the Fifth CIFTIS including the 2017 E-Commerce in China Report, 2017 China Exhibition Data Statistical Report, and 2018 China E-Sports Industry Research Report; among them, over 10 documents such as the Report on the Development of Trade in Services China 2018, White Paper on the Development of Mutual Insurance China 2018, and Report on the Social Contributions of Express Industry China 2017 were first released at the CIFTIS.
II. Main achievements
According to preliminary statistics, a total of 311 projects intended for contracting were reached at the Fifth CIFTIS, with an intended contracting amount of USD 102.56 billion, creating a new high in the history of CIFTIS. Furthermore, the main achievements of this session of CIFTIS are mainly shown in the following aspects:
(I) Building consensus for cooperation among all parties
The Ministry of Commerce and the UNCTAD jointly released a cooperation initiative at the Global Trade in Services Summit to advocate deepening the opening-up of the service industry and liberalizing global trade in services, jointly promoting the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and developing a community of shared future for mankind. Yi Xiaozhun, Deputy Director-General of WTO, Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD, Izabella Durant, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, and representatives of global well-known entrepreneurs separately delivered speeches, where they spoke highly of China’s expansion of opening-up and major efforts to optimize the business environment and conveyed their commitment to jointly uphold economic globalization and multilateral trading system.
(II) Expanding cooperation space for “Belt and Road”
A total of 46 countries along the “Belt and Road” articipated in this session of CIFTIS, including 23 countries that organized delegations to hold exhibitions and conferences. During the CIFTIS, over 10 theme activities including the “Belt and Road Forum for Cooperation in Trade in Service” and “To Promote the Belt and Road Artificial Intelligence Innovation Conference” were held in succession to form a group of cooperation achievements. The UNCTAD and China Association of Trade in Services signed the Memorandum of Cooperation for Promoting Belt and Road Trade in Services to boost the “Belt and Road” construction with a new cooperation idea, cooperation mechanism, and business model.
(III) Promoting the opening-up and development of the service industry
Thematic activities such as the 40th Anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up Trade in Service Achievement Exhibition themed by “Towards a New Era of Trading Power”, Achievement Exhibition of the Pilot Program of Innovative Development of Trade in Services, and Thoughts on Opening-up and Development of the Service Sector were held at this session of CIFTIS to share the experience and achievements of the service industry opening-up. Yi Gang, Governor of the People's Bank of China, analyzed the opportunities and challenges in the opening-up of the financial sector at the 2018 Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum, elaborated the three principles for the opening-up of the financial sector, and made clear the directions of the expanded opening-up of the financial sector. At the Meeting of International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Beijing of this session of CIFTIS, 17 presidents of well-known multinational companies actively offered advice and suggestions for Beijing’s expansion of the service industry opening-up and achievement of high-quality development.
(IV) Leading the innovative development of the service industry
The Financial Services Section displayed new models in the financial sector such as big data-based risk control, intelligent investment advisors (robo-advisors), and blockchain application; the E-Commerce Section displayed new retail modes such as “Bee Counter” intelligent counter, BingoBox unmanned convenience store, and Fresh Hippo; the Express Services Section explored new solutions for industry green development and launched recyclable eco-bags, sharing boxes, and biodegradable bags; the Design Services Section held the First China Service Design Congress and established the China Service Design Alliance to set up a platform for service design innovation and exchanges.
(V) Promoting industry integration and regional coordinated development
The TCM Section launched the TCM international tourism service package project to promote the integrated development of TCM services and tourism, agriculture, and education, etc.; at the Beijing-Macao Cooperation Partnership 2018, Beijing and Macao signed cooperation agreements regarding sports and tourism, etc.; the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Exhibition Area showcased the latest coordinated development achievements of the three places in terms of service industry expanded opening-up, international shipping, and port customs clearance, etc.