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This year's Report on the Work of the Government names “more pilot projects on the extensive opening of the service sector” as a task for 2022. What has MOFCOM done in this respect? Amid the resurging pandemic, China’s service production index increased by 4.2% year-on-year in January and February, 1.2 percentage points faster than December 2021, yet 1.8 percentage points lower than the two-year average in 2021. How have MOFCOM's supporting policies for catering and other service industries been carried out, and will there be further measures?(2022-03-24)

On your first question: Launching comprehensive pilot projects on greater openness in the services sector is an important plan made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to pursue high-standard opening-up. Our exploration in this regard began seven years ago, and a “1+4” paradigm of demonstration pilot programs in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hainan and Chongqing has come into place. Together, these programs have provided 35 cases in seven batches for the rest of the country, which serve as valuable experience and possible pathways. In 2021, the added value of the service sector in these five municipalities and provinces registered RMB9.3 trillion, making up 69.6% of their local gross output, which is 16.3 percentage points higher than the national average; their utilized foreign investment in the service sector reached RMB305.29 billion, accounting for 33.7% of the paid-in foreign investment in services and 26.6% of paid-in investment in the whole country. Their leading role is becoming prominent in opening-up and development of China’s service industry.

This year’s Report on the Work of the Government calls for launching more comprehensive pilot projects for greater openness in the services sector. MOFCOM will work under the instructions of the CPC Central committee and the State Council, to advance the new pilot projects in an orderly fashion and introduce pilot measures responding to the latest developments, so as to expand opening-up on a higher level and improve the service sector. Meanwhile, we will continue to carry forward the five existing pilots, summarize innovative outcomes in time, and share them with the rest of the country.

On your second question: In accordance with the plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, 14 departments recently published the Several Policies on Promoting Recovery and Development of Services Industries Facing Difficulties, which includes general measures and supports dedicated to certain sectors to lift them out of difficulties. MOFCOM, with its focus on the catering industry, is expediting the delivery of relevant policies. For instance, we have given guidance to internet platform businesses such as meal delivery on making and implementing specific plans to lower service fees for catering businesses. In the next step, MOFCOM will redouble efforts and work with relevant authorities to expedite the making of measures to implement the supports. In the meantime, we will encourage local authorities to make supporting policies and step up policy communication in due time, to increase awareness and ensure early implementation and progress of these business-benefiting policies. Thank you.