The 2020 Summit Forum on Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade was held in Beijing on September 5 – Photo: Xiao Yi / China Economic Weekly

The Summit Forum on Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade was held in Beijing

Create a new digital economy future through global cooperation

Global Services, Shared Prosperity. The “2020 CIFTIS--Summit Forum on Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade” was held in China National Convention Center in the morning of September 5. The forum was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China Association for Science and Technology and People's Daily; and undertaken by the Chinese Institute of Electronics, China Academy of Industrial Internet and People’s Daily Digital Communication Co., Ltd.
14. September 2020 4:38

Today, with COVID-19 yet to be brought under full control at the global level, all countries face the formidable task to defeat the virus, stabilize the economy, and protect livelihoods. It is against such a backdrop that China decided to hold this important international trade event despite many difficulties in preparation. It shows China’s willingness to join hands with all of you in this trying time and work together to enable global trade in services to thrive and the world economy to recover at an early date.

Xiao Yaqing, Secretary of Party Leadership Group and Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, introduced the development situation of China’s digital economy in his speech. In recent years, the scale of China’s digital economy has increased from 11 trillion to 35.8 trillion, accounting for 36.2% of the total GDP, which has become a vigorous support for high-quality development of economy. The foundation of digital industrialization becomes more solid, the software industry develops rapidly, and the number of 5G users is up to 60 million. In addition, the progress of industrial digitization is speeding up, and the digital transformation of manufacturing industry is advancing steadily. Meanwhile, the international cooperation in digital economy has been steadily promoted.

Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will promote the high-quality development of digital economy in China from the following four aspects. First, we shall promote the digital industrialization and prepare high-quality industrial plans for big data and software during the “14th-Five Year Plan”. We shall cultivate software industry ecology, promote industrial agglomeration, accelerate the construction of digital infrastructure and promote large-scale commercial layout of 5G. Second, we shall promote industrial digitization and the in-depth integration of informatization and industrialization, and deeply implement the innovation and development strategy of industrial Internet. We shall accelerate the digital, network and intelligent transformation of manufacturing industry. We shall promote the construction of industrial Internet and big data center. We shall activate the potential of big data resource elements and cultivate the new state and mode of digital driving. Third, we shall serve for digital governance, promote the national standard of data management capability and establish an enterprise data management and evaluation system. We shall deepen the reform of management and service, strengthen the centralization of digital economy, cultivate the market of data elements according to the principle of inclusiveness and prudence and stimulate the vitality of market innovation. We shall strengthen the data and network security and enhance the ability to improve data services comprehensively. Fourth, we shall deepen opening up and cooperation, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, implement the achievements of G20 Digital Economic Ministers’ Meeting and actively carry out the activities of China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation. We shall actively participate in the multilateral and bilateral mechanisms of BRICs, China and Russia and China and EU. We shall make contributions to the development of digital economy with China’s wisdom and solutions.

Ji Lin, Secretary of Party Leadership Group and Chairman of Beijing Municipal Committee of CPPCC, said that as the national science and technology innovation center, the added value of Beijing’s digital economy accounted for more than 50% of GDP in 2019, ranking first in the country. Twenty-two Beijing enterprises were listed on the “Top 50 big data enterprises in China in 2019”, accounting for 44% of the country and ranking first in China. When comparing with the countries (regions) of global trade in services horizontally, Beijing ranks among the Top 20.

In the future, Beijing will further accelerate the construction of high-quality digital trade demonstration area and build a pilot zone of digital trade by relying on the national digital service export base of Zhongguancun Software Park, Jinzhan International Cooperation Service Area and Daxing Airport Area of Free Trade Zone. In addition, Beijing will fully promote all links of technology enabling production and trading such as blockchain, AI and big data, cultivate a batch of digital economy leading enterprises and unicorn enterprises with global influence and market leading and build a sustainable, stable, open and prosperous global digital trading system.

Huai Jinpeng, Secretary of Party Leadership Group, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Secretary of China Association for Science and Technology, appealed that global trust and cooperation was the cornerstone of digital trade. Therefore, we shall build a digital governance system, promote the coordination of digital trade rules at multilateral and regional levels and strengthen the organizational and institutional innovation on privacy protection, data security, data authentic right, digital taxation and data legal rules. We shall also share the achievements of digital trade. In order to promote the development of digital trade, China Association for Science and Technology shall: First, to promote cross-border collaboration, establish a digital technology service and trading platform and build a new ecology of digital economy. Second, to cultivate digital talents and assist for the growth of digital economy talents through academic exchanges, talent recommendation, professional training. Third, to expand opening up and cooperation. To carry out non-governmental scientific and technological exchanges, deepen cooperation with international and national science and technology organizations and jointly build a global digital trade and governance system.

Wang Bingnan, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the scale of China’s digital trade is growing rapidly now. The volume of China’s import and export digital trade surged 6.7 percent to $203.6 billion in 2019, accounting for 26 percent of the country’s total import and export service trade volume, and 8.1% higher than the growth rate of service import and export in the same period. In 2019, the executed amount of offshore service outsourcing undertaken by Chinese enterprises was USD 96.89 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 9.3%, becoming the second largest outsourcing country in the world. Digital industry which is highly related to information and communication technology has become the most dynamic sector to promote the economic growth in China. Next, the Ministry of Commerce will further define the development orientation of digital trade in China, study and propose the strategic layout and work measures suitable for China’s national situation, actively create a governance environment favorable for the development of digital trade and seize opportunities to form a Chinese digital trade program.

Zhao Jiaming, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of People’s Daily, said that the opening-up and cooperation of service industry is becoming an important force to promote development. Digital economy is an important impetus for innovative development, and digital trade is an important content of service trade. Therefore, People’s Daily will give full play to the communication advantages of omni-media matrix and create a good public opinion environment for the development of service trade including the digital trade.

Joseph· E· Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics and Former Vice President of the World Bank, delivered a video speech and though that: The decline of transportation and communication cost has provided a great impetus for the development of digital trade. The global digital trade has achieved rapid development, but the real obstacles of digital trade were artificial obstacles. To promote the development of digital trade, we shall not only break down the technical restrictions, but also strive to eliminate artificial obstacles and create an inclusive, open and cooperative environment together. Therefore, all countries in the world shall strengthen cooperation in improving tax policies, encouraging fair competition, avoiding competition abuse and protecting data security. Besides, we shall be inclusive of the voices and opinions from all parties and actively promote more fair and open trade rules in the world.

Li Daokui, Director of Institute for China’s Economic Practice and Thinking of Tsinghua University, proposed that in order to further release the development potential of digital trade: First, we shall strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and create a good development and experience environment for enterprises and users; Second, we shall pay attention to personal privacy protection and handle the relationship between information collection efficiency and privacy data protection properly, since it not only can effectively protect personal privacy but also can give full play to the public service attributes of data products; Third, we shall focus on network security, create reasonable and moderate digital economy life experience for users on the premise of ensuring network security and public security. In addition, we shall also rely on domestic and international resources. While exploring the open and inclusive cooperation environment, activating innovative and leading cooperation momentum and creating a win-win cooperation situation, we shall further comb and share mutual experience and wisdom in the field of digital economy with other countries, gradually form a common standard for the development of international digital trade and the development of digital economy, so as to create a good atmosphere and environment for the development of digital economy in the future.

In the link of keynote speech, Ren Yuxin, COO of Tencent, Alex Rogers, Global Executive Vice President and Technology Licensing Business President of Qualcomm Incorporated, Meng Pu, Chairman of Qualcomm China, Wang Haifeng, CTO of Baidu, Chen Shengqiang, CEO of JD Digitis, Fu Yingbo, Partner and President of MEGVII, Jiang Xing, Vice Business President of Thales (Asia Pacific) and Li Xudong, COO of SAP China shared their wonderful viewpoints on the technical basis, development trend and industrial frontier of digital trade.

Moreover, the forum also released the Development Report on “The Belt and Road” Digital Trade Indexes and announced the launch of the “Innovation China” platform.

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