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Interview: China's services trade fair offers glimpse into digital future, says British business leader

August 31, 2021


Abstract : The China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) will provide people with a great opportunity to get a sense of the world's digital future, as well as China's fast expanding service industry, a British business leader has said.

By Xinhua writer Sun Xiaoling

LONDON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) will provide people with a great opportunity to get a sense of the world's digital future, as well as China's fast expanding service industry, a British business leader has said.

Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, told Xinhua in a recent interview, that the upcoming CIFTIS will be "a very stimulating and exciting fair," which, scheduled for early September in Beijing, will include a special section for digital service.

"China is setting the pace with 5G and the digital economy, with all sorts of areas. AI (Artificial Intelligence), big data, China is really leading," said the leader of the British trade organization, as innovations in the digital sector are growingly capturing the world's attention.

With almost half a century of experience in doing business with China, Perry has witnessed first-hand the extraordinary growth of China's international trade fairs, from the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, which began in 1957, to the China International Import Expo held in Shanghai since 2018.

The CIFTIS will create an opportunity for the rest of the world to learn about China's fast expanding service industry, according to Perry.

"If you take the service sector, it hardly existed 40 years ago when China was a peasant economy......China is growing faster in the service sector than any other country in the world," he said, adding that "its role in working with the world economy is of great importance."

In 2013, when the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched, Perry was among the first to study the project. In his eyes, cooperation in digital areas is a key part of the BRI.

The success of what Perry described as "the digital Silk Road" can be attributed to "the innovation inside China that is building out along the Silk Road with foreign partners."

As China is the first major economy worldwide to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Perry said China is the place to go to do business, especially when it comes to the service industry, which represent the future of the world economy.

"China is saying we are ready to trade," he said, noting that the CIFTIS will be "a magnificent fair." Enditem

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Keyword: CIFTIS

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