China’s foreign service trade rose 16 percent in the first ten months of this year to 4.29 trillion yuan (about $619.3 billion), the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Dec 15.
Services accounted for 18 percent of China’s overall foreign trade in the January-October period, 2.6 percentage points higher than the level of 2015, MOC spokesperson Sun Jiwen told a press conference.
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’s service trade has seen double-digit growth since the beginning of the year as the government boosts the industry to upgrade the economic structure and increase employment.
In the ten-month period, service imports climbed 23.7 percent year on year, driven by strong performance of overseas travel and education services. Meanwhile, robust growth in maintenance and advertising services lifted service exports, which increased by 3.6 percent, Sun said.
In the first nine months, foreign service trade rose 21.4 percent year on year to 3.8 trillion yuan, according to MOC data.
The country has set a target to increase its service trade to over $1 trillion by 2020.