BEIJING — China’s foreign service trade amounted to $257.02 billion during the first four months of the year, up 16.8 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce said on June 2.
Service trade accounted for 18.9 percent of the country’s total imports and exports during the January-April period. The proportion was 3.5 percentage points higher than 2015, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
Distinct from merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.
China is aiming to adjust the structure of its foreign service trade so that it is based on more sophisticated exports, and the data suggested it is succeeding in doing so. Exports of telecommunications, computing and information services grew at a rapid rate of 19.1 percent to $8.84 billion during the first four months.
The European Union, the United States and Japan were among China’s major trading partners in terms of service trade.
China’s foreign service trade volume grew from $362.4 billion in 2011 to $713 billion in 2015, doubling the average international growth speed, earlier data showed.
The country has set the target of lifting its service trade volume to over $1 trillion by 2020.