Free Trade Zones

Negative lists for trade in services should be ready soon


A tourist shop in a duty free shop in Hainan province. [Photo/for China Daily by Meng Zhongde]

China’s highly anticipated negative lists for cross-border trade in services are in the works, as the draft Hainan Free Trade Port is currently being processed for final publication, according to experts familiar with the matter.

As part of efforts to promote a higher level of openness and boost the service sector to optimize its economy, China plans to release the negative list for Hainan’s FTP first, followed by versions covering areas free trade pilots as well as the whole country. said Nie Pingxiang, deputy director of the Institute of Trade in Services under the Ministry of Commerce.

“The negative lists should come out soon, probably within a year,” Nie said, adding that based on Hainan’s version, the shorter of the three, writing the other two will be relatively easier.

According to Nie, the negative lists will focus on improving facilitation and liberalization of cross-border sourcing, as well as expanding access to employment and facilitation for foreigners.

Experts said that these negative lists for cross-border commercial services should address various issues restricting cross-border supply, consumption in foreign markets and movement of people in order to boost trade in services.

China‘s trade in services has grown rapidly, accounting for a growing share of total foreign trade.

The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that the country’s trade in services increased 3.3% from a year ago to 1.56 trillion yuan ($ 243.37 billion) over the years. first four months.

Services exports reached 746.21 billion yuan, up 23.2% year-on-year, and services imports amounted to 818.24 billion yuan, down 10%.

In April alone, China’s services trade reached 406.19 billion yuan, up 12.3% year-on-year, with services exports up 24.3% and imports by 2.7. %.

Chi Fulin, president of the Chinese Institute for Reform and Development in Hainan, said China’s trade in services will grow faster as the pandemic is better contained.

The proportion of China’s services trade in total foreign trade increased from 11.1% in 2010 to 14.6% in 2019, Chi said.

Officials from the Ministry of Commerce said that the introduction of the negative list management system is an important measure to boost the development and opening up of the country’s service industry.

At a recent press conference, Gao Feng, spokesperson for the ministry, said, “While working to introduce a negative list on cross-border trade in services in Hainan, we will work with the province and parties concerned to review and standardize national regulations affecting free and harmonious trade in services in key areas. “

He said China will formulate a negative list of cross-border trade in services in the pilot free zones on the basis of the version for the Hainan FTP to further expand the scope of the pilot work, improve the alignment of the zones. open to high-level international rules, deepen their institutional openness and accumulate experience for the establishment and improvement of the national system for managing negative lists for cross-border trade in services.