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Regular Press Conference of MOFCOM (December 1, 2022)

Shu Jueting: Dear friends from the press, good afternoon. Welcome to the regular press conference of MOFCOM. Today I have one announcement for you.

I. On the development of China's service trade from January to October this year

From January to October 2022, China's service trade continued to grow. The total import and export of services was RMB4,918.55 billion (RMB, same below), a year-on-year increase of 17.2%. Among them, the service export was RMB2,358.15 billion, an increase of 18.1%; the import reached RMB2,560.4 billion, up by 16.4%; the deficit was RMB202.26 billion. The main features are as follows:

Trade in knowledge-intensive services grew steadily. From January to October, the import and export of knowledge-intensive services were RMB2,047.8 billion, an increase of 10.3%. Among them, the export of knowledge-intensive services was RMB1,149.92 billion, an increase of 14.3%. The areas registering faster export growth were intellectual property royalties, and telecommunications, computers and information services, with an increase of 17.3% and 16.3% respectively. The import of knowledge-intensive services was RMB897.88 billion, up by 5.6%. The area of rapid import growth is insurance services, with a growth rate of 57.1%.

The import and export of travel services continued to recover. From January to October, the import and export of travel services were RMB689.06 billion, an increase of 9.1%. Excluding travel services, China's import and export of services increased by 18.6% from January to October, in breakdown, export increased by 19% and import by 18.1%. Compared with the same period in 2019, the import and export of services increased by 51.7%, in breakdown, export increased by 66.7% and import by 36.9%.

That concludes my announcement. Next, I would like to take your questions. The floor is open.

Shenzhen TV: Today, President of the European Council Charles Michel visits China, and the world is following the impact of this trip on China-EU trade. In view of the fact that the ratification efforts of the China-EU investment agreement were once suspended by the EU, what are China’s expectations for the impact on China-EU trade of this dialogue between China and EU Leaders? How do you view the future of China-EU investment agreement?

Shu Jueting: China attaches great importance to developing its relations with Europe, and is committed to deepening mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between the two sides, keeping global industrial and supply chains stabile and unimpeded, and safeguarding international economic and trade rules and order. Under the guidance of our leaders, China and the EU have formed a strong economic symbiotic relationship. In the first 10 months of this year, China-EU trade reached USD711.4 billion, an increase of 6.3%. China remains the largest trading partner of the EU, and the EU continues to be the second largest trading partner of China.

On the morning of December 1, President Xi Jinping held talks with President of the European Council Charles Michel. China stands ready to work with the EU to take the interaction between our leaders as an opportunity, uphold the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, further tap the potential of two-way trade and investment, carry out higher-level cooperation, and create more stability and momentum for the world economy.

As for China-EU investment agreement, this is a balanced, high-level and mutually beneficial agreement, bringing benefits not only to China, but also to the EU and the world beyond. China and the EU should make joint efforts to promote the signing and entry into force of the agreement, so as to benefit our business and people at an early date. Thank you.

The Cover: The WTO Council for Trade in Goods recently held a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The delegation of China expressed serious concern about discriminatory trade measures and trade-distorting subsidies in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as well as U.S. policies and measures that disrupt the global industrial and supply chains of semiconductors. What is MOFCOM’s comment?

Shu Jueting: As a member of the WTO, China exercises its rights in accordance with WTO rules by raising concerns and questions over the trade measures of other members and their impact at committees of the WTO. At the meeting of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods on November 24-25, China, in a professional manner, made an item-by-item analysis of potential inconsistencies between U.S. provisions and WTO rules; pointed out that U.S. practices undermine international trade and investment and disrupt stability of global industrial and supply chains; and expressed serious concerns about U.S. double standard and bullying regarding international trade rules. China urges the U.S. to faithfully fulfill its commitments to WTO rules and take concrete steps to safeguard the authority and efficacy of the multilateral trading system.

Economic globalization has encountered backlashes, and world economic recovery remains sluggish. In the face of global challenges, China is ready to work with other members to implement the outcomes of the MC12, engage fully and deeply in the WTO reform and negotiations, and oppose to unilateralism and protectionism, to enable a bigger role of the WTO and contribute to stable global industrial and supply chains and speedy recovery of the world economy. Thank you.

Reuters: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted the final rules which effectively ban the import of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE because they pose “an unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security. What’s MOFCOM’s comment? How will this affect Chinese businesses concerned?

Shu Jueting: On November 25, the U.S. FCC announced the ban on import or sale of telecommunications equipment from five Chinese companies, citing “an unacceptable risk” they pose to U.S. national security. The U.S. has repeatedly overstretched the concept of national security and oppressed Chinese companies by abusing its state power. China stands firmly against this.

The U.S. practices jeopardizes not only the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies, but the benefits of American businesses and consumers. They compromise the international economic order and trade rules and don’t serve the interests of China or the U.S., not to mention that of the whole world. The U.S. should immediately correct its mistakes, stop politicizing and weaponizing trade and economic issues and treat companies from all other countries, including China, as equals. China will take any necessary measure to protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies. Thank you.

South China Morning Post: Last week, the European Chamber submitted to MOFCOM comments on improving Covid-19 response. What’s your comment?

Shu Jueting: MOFCOM has been leveraging the special task force for key foreign-invested projects under the coordination mechanism for foreign trade and foreign investment to have regular communication with foreign-invested enterprises and foreign chambers of commerce and businesses associations, respond to reasonable requests of FIEs for favorable conditions in China, and coordinate efforts to address difficulties they are facing. In the next step, we will follow the instructions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and work under the principle of ensuring effective COVID-19 containment, economic stability and development security all at the same time to maintain the regular communication mechanism and help FIEs to prosper in China. Thank you.

Shu Jueting: Do you have any more question? If not, this is the end of today’s press conference. Thank you.

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)