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Countries along Belt and Road share service trade dividends

© Provided by Xinhua

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Visitors to the ongoing 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held in Beijing are sure to be spoiled by a myriad of exotic exhibits varying from jewelry, carpets, and other art from the Middle East and South Asia to chocolate made in Switzerland and red wine in Georgia.

In the Iran Pavilion of the CIFTIS, Amir Ghorbanali, director of China Iran Trade Promotion Center, introduced that it is Iran's second time partaking in CIFTIS events. This year, they will focus on tapping into the e-commerce platforms to export more Iranian products into China.

Iran is one of the significant countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and both China and Iran have emphasized boosting their business cooperation. "And I believe that Iran can have a big role in the BRI in the future," said Ghorbanali in great confidence.

Aqeel Ahmed Chaudhry, head of WINZA, a Pakistani jewelry brand, is another old friend to many Chinese purchasers at the fair. He calls himself "Li Long" as his Chinese name and speaks fluent Mandarin and English while introducing his dazzling jewelry to curious customers.

Chaudhry began his business in China with a store set up in Shanghai in 2019. This March, he launched a new outlet in Shenyang, the capital city of northeast China's Liaoning Province.

He plans to open his third branch in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, and this year's edition of CIFTIS has become part of his "field trip" to the Chinese capital.

The Pakistani merchant hailed the remarkable achievements emanating from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the BRI.

He said some industrial parks under the CPEC project in his home country are already operational, attracting multiple companies to settle down due to their preferential policies and creating many job opportunities.

© Provided by Xinhua

Sakarn Saensopa, Commerical Consul of Thailand's Consulate-General in Shanghai, said that Thailand has centered on its healthcare services in its pavilion this year. Thailand will also exhibit its latest products in the culture and entertainment sector, including films, animations, books, music, and video games.

He is glad to see the CIFTIS become a convenient communication platform for enterprises in China and Thailand.

More and more Chinese film and TV drama crews come to Thailand to shoot, co-produce movies, TV dramas, and commercials, and hand over the post-production of their products to Thai companies, all of which have played a role in promoting the development of Thailand's entertainment industry and even the prosperity of its tourism, according to Sakarn Saensopa.

The construction of the Belt and Road has promoted the continuous improvement of infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges in countries along the routes. China is becoming more open and promoting trade growth through win-win cooperation, said Sakarn Saensopa.

A subforum themed on Belt and Road cooperation of trade in services was held on Monday.

China's service trade with countries along the Belt and Road has rapidly grown over the years, bringing them closer in broader aspects and promoting more fruitful results of cooperation, according to Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, during the subforum.

"Most of the service trade involves small and medium-sized enterprises, so promoting the inclusive and mutually beneficial development of all countries will benefit more enterprises. Trade in services has continuously injected new vitality and impetus to the construction of the Belt and Road and promoted its construction to go deeper and get more solid," said Long Guoqiang, deputy head of the Development Research Center of the State Council, during the subforum.

"As the development of the digital economy has a profound impact on service trade, service trade cooperation among Belt and Road countries faces new opportunities and potential," Long added.