China registered a substantial drop in services trade deficit last year with new progress made in structural reform and high-quality trade development, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Monday.
Services trade totaled 5.41 trillion yuan (about 775.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, with exports up by 8.9 percent year on year to 1.96 trillion yuan and imports down 0.4 percent to come in at around 3.46 trillion yuan last year, MOC spokesman Gao Feng told an online news conference.
The deficit of service trade stood at 1.50 trillion yuan in 2019, 176 billion yuan less than that of 2018. The spokesperson attributed this to a robust domestic services sector and favorable policies for innovative services trade growth.
Gao also highlighted the continued rapid expansion in China's trade of knowledge-intensive services, which increased by 10.8 percent year on year to over 1.87 trillion yuan.
Exports of knowledge-intensive services grew by 13.4 percent to 991.6 billion yuan, while imports grew by 8 percent to 886 billion yuan.
In contrast to merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transportation, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.