CIFTIS: China leads in stimulating global recovery
Updated 22:28, 09-Sep-2020
By Global Business and Sun Ye

China's economic recovery in light of a global pandemic has been "impressive," and the country has much to offer in terms of business opportunities for foreign firms, said experts at the close of a major international services fair in Beijing on Wednesday.

"We believe China is the world leader in stimulating the global recovery," said Christophe Lauras, president of the French Chamber of Commerce in China in an interview at the closing of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

Lauras said China has over the years made good progress in terms of market access, and remains a place of great opportunities for "key player" from France, adding that "the growing needs of Chinese society can only create a lot of opportunities for French companies."

"Much progress has been made in terms of market access, we are still hoping to see improvements in market openness for foreign companies in China, which is something that keeps improving but still needs to see improvement.

"As you may know French companies are very advanced in the fields of IT, artificial intelligence, digital gaming, financial services, sustainable development services. We also have a lot of knowledge in French in childhood and elder services. So in all these things we obviously see a lot of opportunities for companies to grow in China," he said.

Dutch Ambassador: Economic recovery requires open economy

Wim Geerts, the Dutch ambassador to China told CGTN that CIFITS' concrete results would come out in the weeks and months after the fair.

"CIFTIS is an important event. Dutch companies are also happy to participate," he told CGTN. He said participants from his country participated through a digital Holland Pavilion, most coming from the creative industries and sports industries.

The Dutch Ambassador also said that economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic requires free trade and an open economy. "It is good to see that we are now on the road towards recovery. A speedy economic recovery requires open economies, free trade and a rules-based international system," he told CGTN.

He said that China and the European Union are negotiating the Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI), an example of the above strategies. "There we need steps in terms of market access, level-playing field, also making sure that growth is greener and more sustainable than it was before. And we need reciprocity. And we believe that it can be done. It would be mutually beneficial if China and the European Union were able to finish this agreement before the end of this year," the ambassador said.

Canada business council: Business welcomes cooperation mechanism

A network of international chambers of commerce was set up over the CIFITS for better cooperation.

Noah Fraser, China managing director of the Canada China Business Council welcomed the move. "We are always better when united than we are apart," he said. "(Because of the pandemic) We are now separated by borders, global confidence is low, so the cooperation is needed even more."

He also said CIFITS, China's first major in-person trade event since 2020 sends positive signals.

"It's amazing to see how we bounced back. As of this point, Canadian economy is roughly 70 percent service industry. So a show on service industry is exciting for us," he told CGTN.

Consultant: China has much to teach and learn

Meanwhile, strategic consultant firm Roland Berger said that China had a lot to offer the world in terms of services and the country could learn from other countries as well. Qian Fang, CFO of Roland Berger Greater China, told CGTN that China's trade in the service sector has been the number two in the world in the past six years.

"China has lots to offer the world, e-commerce, 5G, telecommunication services and has a lot to learn from the rest of the world, financial industry and services high-end manufacturing," said Qian.

CIFTIS saw over 22,000 companies and organizations, from 148 countries and regions, congregating online and offline in Beijing, and was the first major economic and trade event being held in China since the coronavirus outbreak.