BEIJING, Sept. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- China will introduce the idea of a "negative list" for cross-border services trade nationwide, a move that is set to improve the transparency and predictability of the business environment in the country.
The announcement was made by President Xi Jinping at the Global Trade in Services Summit at this year's China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) via video link.
The idea was first introduced this July in China's southern Hainan Province – the country's only pilot free trade port – and specifies management measures in 11 categories. For areas that are not included in the list, domestic and overseas services providers will have a level playing field and enjoy equal market access in the port, officials said.
"We will open up at a higher level," Xi said at the fair, vowing to strengthen support for the service sector for those who have agreed to jointly construct the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China will share the outcomes of its technological development with the world, he said, hoping to work hand-in-hand with the world in a time of economic recovery post pandemic.
Calling the services trade an important chunk of international business and an essential part of international trade, Xi urged the advancement of regulations in the sector.
Support for small- and medium-sized enterprises
In his speech, Xi also voiced support for innovation-driven small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "[We will] deepen the reform of the New Third Board (National Equities Exchange and Quotations)," Xi pointed out.
Launched in 2013, the board aims to offer small and medium-sized enterprises a new financing channel with low costs and simple listing procedures. Official data shows that about 70 percent of the SMEs listed earned profits in 2020 amid the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chinese president also announced the establishment of a new stock exchange in Beijing, hoping it will be a primary platform serving innovation-oriented SMEs. It would become the country's third stock exchange, following the ones in the financial hub of Shanghai and in the southern city of Shenzhen.
The new stock exchange will hopefully serve as a link for a multi-level capital market, according to an official statement released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission after Xi's speech.
It will target state-owned enterprises and respect their expanding trend to improve its inclusiveness and targeting accuracy, the statement added.