China to set up third stock exchange in Beijing

China to set up third stock exchange in Beijing

China to set up country's third stock exchange in Beijing

A men wearing a mask walk at the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai. (Reuters file photo)
A men wearing a mask walk at the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai. (Reuters file photo)

HONG KONG: Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced plans to set up a new stock exchange in Beijing and more digital trade pilot zones under plans to expand the country's role as a global services hub.

In a short speech at the opening of the China International Fair for Trade in Services on Thursday, Xi said establishing free-trade zones in China could help the global economic recovery.

"Service trade is an important area for international economic and trade cooperation. It plays an important role in [China's] new development strategy," President XI said via a video link.

"We'd like to work with all sides, based on principles of cooperation and win-win, to share service trade opportunities and promote global economic recovery."

Two of China's vice-premiers, Han Zheng and Hu Chunhua, attended the opening of the fair, one of China's key opportunities to woo foreign investors.

Irish prime minister Micheal Martin, his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh and several other foreign leader attended via video-link.

The annual fair comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the global and Chinese economies, — with later expected to slowdown later this year — and tensions with Washington remain high.

It also comes as Beijing's intensifies its crackdown on big tech companies and introduces new data security and anti-sanctions laws that have shaken foreign investor confidence.

Xi also said the country would launch a list of sectors where foreign investment is forbidden and promise to increase support for projects in Belt and Road Initiative countries.

The Beijing stock exchange will be the country's third one after Shanghai and Shenzhen and is expected to serve innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in line with wider government support for such businesses.

The digital trade pilot zones are expected to be set up in different cities.

China has the world's second largest services economy.

Services exports rose 23.2% to 1.34 trillion yuan (US$207 billion) between January and July this year compared with the same period last year. In the same period, imports declined by 4% to 1.47 trillion yuan, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.

China's service sector output reached 29.6 trillion yuan in the first half of this year, or 55.7% of gross domestic product. Last year this figure stood at 54.5%.

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