On February 12, official from Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services made a statement on related situations about China's service trade in 2018.
Official from MOFCOM Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services said that in 2018, the scale of China's import and export of trade in services hit a record high with its structure continuously optimized and quality obviously improved. The major features of the development of service trade were as follows:
1. The growth rate of the import and export of trade in services hit a record high in eight years. In December, import and export still maintained a relatively high growth rate. The annual export of services was 1765.8 billion yuan, with an increase of 14.6% year on year, which was the highest growth rate of export since 2011; the import was 3474.4 billion yuan, up 10%. In December, China's total import and export of services was 501.08 billion yuan, up 12.7%, among which the export was 187.03 billion yuan, up 15.8%, and the import was 314.05 billion yuan, up 10.9%.
2. The growth of service import and export was higher than that of the world's major economies. According to the statistics of the WTO, China's growth of service import and export in the first ten months of 2018 was 11.3, 6.7, 7.5 and 8.8 percentage points higher than those of the US, Germany, the UK and France respectively in terms of the US dollar (other countries have not released their year-round statistics yet). Based on this, it's calculated that the scale of China's service import and export in 2018 will rank second worldwide for five consecutive years.
3. The structure of trade in services was continuously optimized. Positive progress was made in the high-quality development of service trade. The import and export of the knowledge-intensive services reached 1695.21 billion yuan, up 20.7%, 9.2 percentage points higher than the overall growth, taking up 32.4% of the total, 2.5 percentage points higher than that of last year. The import and export of the three traditional services such as tourism, transportation and construction reached 3322.46 billion yuan, up 7.8%, accounting for 63.4% of the total, decreasing by 2.2 percentage points than that of last year.
4. The import of intellectual property rights increased significantly, and the demand for high-end productive services and export competitiveness grew at the same time. The import of intellectual property rights was 235.52 billion yuan, up 22%; the export was 36.8 billion yuan, up 14.4%. The export of technical services was 115.35 billion yuan, up 14.4%, and the import was 83.92 billion yuan, up 7.9%. It shows that China's demand for high-end productive services is still strong, and the competitiveness of high-end productive services export is also increasing.
5. The areas of service trade were relatively concentrated, and the scale of import and export in the eastern region continued to expand. The service import and export of 11 provinces and cities along the eastern coast reached 4503.76 billion yuan, accounting for 86.6% of the national amount. Among these, the import and export of services in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong were over one trillion yuan, ranking as the top three nationwide. The import and export of services in central and western regions reached 695.24 billion yuan, up 4.8%, taking up 13.4% of the national amount.
6. The proportion of the pilot zones on innovation in trade in services increased and the guiding role of the pilot zones was gradually strengthened. The import and export of trade in services in 17 pilot zones of innovation and development was 3987.01 billion yuan, accounting for 76.7% of the national amount, 5.1 percentage points higher than the national growth rate. Among these, the import and export of trade in services in pilot zones reached 1374.99 billion yuan and 2612.02 billion yuan respectively, up 18.1% and 15.8% respectively, both higher than the national level. It shows that the effect of China's policy to support the innovative development of service trade is coming out, which has played an important role in stabilizing expectations and promoting growth.