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ITC at CIFTIS 2018

  • ITC at CIFTIS 2018

     28 May-1 June 2018

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    The service sector accounts for 70% of global GDP, 45% of employment and 49% of trade measured in value added terms. To support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tap into the international services trade, ITC sponsored nine tourism enterprises from Sri Lanka and Myanmar to participate in the 5th China International Fair for Trade in Service (CIFTIS), held in Beijing from 28 May to 1 June. The companies met with potential buyers and partners to explore the opportunities of attracting more Chinese tourists and working together with Chinese tour operators.

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    Speaking at the Africa Theme Day Forum during CIFTIS, Ms. Dorothy Tembo, ITC Deputy Executive Director, highlighted the continent’s potential for future growth, particularly with the recently concluded Continental Free Trade Agreement. Already the youngest continent, Africa is projected to become the most populous one in the next few decades, with a workforce of nearly 2 billion by 2063. China, as the world’s second largest investor, could help African companies to grow through its outbound investment. ITC’s Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) project links Chinese investors and African companies and has initiated 221 business and investment leads of about US$ 75 million.

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    Speaking at the E-commerce Forum, Ms. Tembo said that e-commerce opens up a gateway for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to engage in international trade. ITC’s e-commerce survey report shows that 82% of the enterprises that export only through e-commerce are micro and small in size. Cross-border e-commerce also helps women to trade, with the share of women-owned companies doubling when moving from offline to online trade.

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    At the UNCTAD forum on “Enhancing cooperation on services trade in the context of Belt and Road Initiative” held during CIFTIS, Ms. Tembo highlighted the importance of regulatory cooperation in the areas of transportation, investment, e-commerce and digital trade, tourism, as well as development. Regulatory cooperation is essential to make the best use of improved connectivity in the region and help connect more MSMEs to international value chains.