Broad prospects for China-Pakistan service trade cooperation: Says Chinese scholar

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BEIJING, Nov. 5  : There are broad prospects for China-Pakistan service trade cooperation, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Thursday quoting Chinese scholar Prof. Cheng Xizhong.

According to Prof. Cheng last September, China International Fair for Trade in Services 2020 was successfully held in Beijing, which shows that China attaches great importance to service trade.

Since China joined WTO in 2001, the total import and export volume of China’s service trade increased from 71.9 billion U.S. dollars to 743.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, that is to say, it has increased 10 times in the past 20 years.

In 2019, the added value of China’s service industry accounts for 53.9% of its total GDP, and will continue to increase.

In the future, the structure of China’s service trade will gradually upgrade, and the export of service trade will gradually tend to the areas with obvious “scale economy effect”, such as R&D, design, brand, etc.

Now, world trade in services accounts for 25% of the total world trade. WTO predicts that the proportion of service trade will be higher and higher, and it will increase to 50% by 2040.

Analysts believe that the higher the proportion of service industry in a country, the more developed its economy will be. In 2019, the American service industry reached 17.36 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for 81% of its total GDP.

The American economic structure has already completed the transformation to service industry. Its real advantages lie in its strong service economic foundation, advanced information technology infrastructure, standardized and flexible business system and good innovation environment.

Pakistan`s service export fell by over 16.79 percent year-on-year to 352.92 million U.S. dollars in the second month of the current fiscal year. Service export has fallen since March after the Pakistani government imposed a lockdown across the country to contain the pandemic.

However, the service sector emerged as the main driver of economic growth with its share in the GDP increasing from 56 percent in 2005-2006 to 61.4 percent in 2019-2020. Its major sub-sectors include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration, and defense.

The prosperity of service industry is an important feature of modern economy. To accelerate the development of modern service industry can expand the employment field, increase employment opportunities, promote social stability, and improve people’s living standards and quality of life.

In my observation, Pakistan’s service market is more open than the average level of developing countries, but service trade in Pakistan is facing the problems of increasing deficit year by year and insufficient international competitiveness.

The two-way investment in the service industry of China and Pakistan is in the ascendant, and there is a great potential of service trade.

With the steady progress of the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, there are broad prospects for service trade cooperation between both countries in project contracting, transportation, communication and other industries, Prof. Cheng added.