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G20 trade ministers meeting: China hopes to boost global trade and investment

Reporter: Xing Zheming 丨 CCTV.com

07-10-2016 12:34 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

China has benefited greatly from integration into the global market. The country is the world's largest exporter of goods and the second largest importer. So how will China use its position as host of this year's G20 summit to boost global trade and investment?

The global economy has certainly seen better times.

International trade remains sluggish, commodity prices are plunging, and investment has not yet recovered to the levels before the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2015, China's exports decreased by two-and-a-half percent, mainly due to the drag on global demand. But China's exports have fared better than other major developed economies and emerging markets.

For instance, Germany saw a 11.2 percent drop, Japan, 9.4, Brazil, 16, and India, 17.5.

China actually contributes more than one-eighth of the global export market, so it's not surprising it's the world's largest trading nation, and its performance is pivotal to how the global economy reacts going forward.

China continues to open up to the world in trade and investment. Its efforts include the establishment of the Shanghai pilot free trade zone, signing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, the launch of the "Belt and Road" initiative, as well as internationalizing its currency.

"China's strategy to push forward FTAs after joining the WTO can be regarded as a very important opening-up measure. It has brought great benefits. Besides trade, China is focusing more on investment under the FTA frameworks," said Professor Cheng Dazhong, deputy dean of Department of World Economy, Fudan University.

Over the years, China has signed free trade agreements with not only developed economies like Switzerland, Australia and Singapore, but also with developing markets like the ASEAN economies, Pakistan and Chile.

These FTAs have significantly driven up trade volume.

Another key area of trade is in services, which accounts for 14.5 percent of China’s overall trade volume. And this sector is growing fast. Last year, it expanded by 14.6 percent on 2014.

However, China imports more services than it exports. Sluggish global demand is one reason for this, but it's more to do with China's inability to compete in the global arena.

"There's still great potential for China’s services sector. But development of the education, healthcare and financial sectors are still restrained by the market environment. Reform in these sectors could spur growth. Meanwhile, we can see great development potential in emerging services sectors like information technology," said Professor Cheng.

Experts believe that opening up the services sector will not only raise the quality of life for Chinese people, but it will also push domestic market to up its game.

China is also looking to participate more in global e-commerce. Through coordinated international efforts, the sector could improve efficiency of trade and greatly reduce costs.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, trans-border e-commerce grew by 30% in 2015. New business models will thrive, as fast-developing technologies bring a fresh impetus to global trade growth.

Jack Ma, chairman of the Alibaba Group, even proposed an electronic world trade platform, or an eWTP. It would give more players access to global trade through the Internet, which would be especially beneficial for small business entities.

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