The 2023 CIFTIS reflects China's resilient economy and global engagement

By Imran Khalid | Gwadar Pro Sep 4, 2023

Editor's Note: The writer is a freelance columnist on international affairs based in Karachi, Pakistan. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

As the pioneer and currently the largest and most extensive exhibition in the domain of service trade, this fair stands as a crucial platform for China's high-level engagement with the global community. It exerts a significant demonstration effect, expediting the next phase of development in the service industry and showcasing China's unwavering commitment to enhanced openness and cooperation with the world. Launched in 2012, CIFTIS has transformed into a colossal platform for the cross-pollination of ideas, innovations, and creativity within the realm of service trade. The 2023 edition boasts participation from 59 countries and 24 international organizations. With over 500 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders unveiling their achievements, the internationalization quotient has surged to 20 percent. This impressive global congregation underscores CIFTIS's ascendancy as a powerhouse of collaboration, facilitating the exchange of best practices and breakthroughs that propel the service trade sector into new dimensions of growth and prosperity.

More than 60 enterprises and institutions are set to unveil a wide range of innovative products and technologies at the 2023 CIFITS. These innovations will encompass areas such as artificial intelligence, financial technology, healthcare, and cultural creativity, infusing fresh energy into the growth of the service trade sector. The 2023 CIFTIS is not merely following trends; it's setting them. This year, the event will take center stage in showcasing smart services and groundbreaking innovations, featuring cutting-edge technologies and applications spanning artificial intelligence, metaverse, industrial integration, green development, and environmental conservation. It will serve as a launchpad for a diverse array of new technologies, comprehensive reports, and illuminating case studies. Moreover, the fair will introduce several pioneering electric vehicle (EV) charging service providers, debuting their inventive product portfolios and digital energy solutions.

In the realm of global service trade, the new-energy sector occupies the vanguard of globalization—a resonating theme that reverberates across the world, demonstrating China's forward-looking approach to advancing the global service industry landscape. China is strategically bolstering its services trade alongside its trade in goods, capitalizing on its unique strengths. This multifaceted approach targets both producers and consumers, aligning with China's goals of advancing its manufacturing sector and elevating consumption standards.

Recent data reveals a steady uptrend in China's service trade from January to July this year. The total import and export value of services reached an impressive 3.67 trillion yuan ($503.42 billion), marking an 8.1 percent year-on-year increase, as reported by the Chinese Commerce Ministry. Notably, financial services are poised to take center stage at the fair, with a dedicated section for this sector. The event will host 219 financial institutions and enterprises from both domestic and international arenas, with 99 participants attending in person—52 from China and 47 from abroad—underscoring the global significance of this dynamic platform.

In China's ongoing drive to foster openness and stimulate the growth of trade in services, foreign companies are poised to harness the nation's strengths and expertise in international logistics and services. This entails an expansion of their footprint within China, a strategic fine-tuning of their cross-border shipping services, and the reinforcement of crucial linkages between China and global markets.

The symbiotic relationship between China's welcoming environment and the global business community's readiness to tap into its vast potential augurs well for the future of international trade and cooperation. This synergy holds the promise of not only enriching China's economic landscape but also propelling global commerce to new heights. Experts concur that China's post-pandemic economic trajectory, despite encountering global headwinds, has traversed a challenging phase and is progressively gaining momentum.

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