A humanoid service robot demonstrates its watering skills at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing on Saturday. [Photo by Du Yang/China News Service]

China will scale up measures to spur the growth of the digital economy to inject new impetus into the economy and foster high-quality development, said officials at a major forum during the weekend.

Xiao Yaqing, minister of industry and information technology, said on Saturday the ministry will make a big push to promote digital industrialization and industrial digitalization in the next step.

More efforts are also needed to speed up the construction of digital infrastructure; promote the large-scale commercial deployment of 5G; accelerate the digital, networked and intelligent transformation of manufacturing; improve data services; and strengthen international exchanges and cooperation in the digital economy, Xiao said.

He made the remarks at the Forum on Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade at the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. The CIFTIS, which opened on Friday, continues through Wednesday.

Fueled by booming new technologies and the government”s supportive policies, the digital economy is gradually becoming the key driving force boosting China’s economic development.

“Since 2012, China’s digital economy has scaled up from 11 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) to 35.8 trillion yuan, accounting for 36.2 percent of GDP,” Xiao added.

Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce, said on Saturday China has seen new growth opportunities in digital fields amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the country will continue accelerating the push for advancing the development of digital trade.

“In the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, remote working, e-government services, digital education, online entertainment and other digital sectors have played a key role in safeguarding people’s lives and production, preventing and controlling the epidemic, and strengthening global economic and trade cooperation.” Wang said.

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“It has further demonstrated the huge vitality in (digital economic) development,” Wang added.”Digital trade will surely become a key to deepen opening-up on a larger scale, in a broader field, and at a deeper level in the future.”

Wang said he believed that digital trade will help promote the sharing of knowledge and technology factors, advance digital transformation, boost innovation and develop new business forms and models in trade.

“We’re more inclined to think that digital trade is a new form of trade that uses digital technology for research and development, design and production, and delivers products and services to users through the internet and modern information technology,” Wang said.

“Specifically, digital trade includes information technology services, digital content services and other types of offshore service outsourcing through digital interaction, including software, social media, search engines, communications, cloud computing, satellite positioning, digital entertainment and digital media.”

Buoyed by the government’s supportive policies, China’s digital trade is growing rapidly. According to Wang, 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.

Seeing the huge growth potential from the booming digital trade, Beijing is speeding up the construction of a high-quality digital trade demonstration area, Ji Lin, chairman of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on Saturday.

Via China Daily