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Overseas experts praise China’s services trade show as a critical venue for win-win collaboration

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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The six-day 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) concludes on Tuesday, with firms finishing up their product and service exhibitions both offline and online, and industry experts wrapping up their thematic conferences.

Welcoming China’s global event as a crucial forum for sharing development possibilities and encouraging win-win cooperation, international experts said the successful conduct of this year’s CIFTIS despite the COVID-19 outbreak has proved China’s willingness to promote high-level opening-up.

 

A new, larger fair the 2021 CIFTIS, themed “Towards Digital Future and Service-driven Development,” includes a component for digital services for the first time, with up to 33 well-known firms and organizations participating.

This year’s CIFTIS attracted over 12,000 businesses, a 52 percent increase over the previous year. Representatives from 153 countries and territories registered for this year’s event, up from 148 the previous year.

Against the backdrop of the ravaging pandemic, major health care firms and medical institutes from both home and abroad are displaying their latest developments at the fair, covering topics such as smart health care, traditional medicine, and COVID-19 prevention and control.

According to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the CIFTIS is “appropriate at a time when the international economy is progressively more technology- and services-driven.”

“If trade in products was the primary engine of trade growth in the early phases of globalization, trade in services, which is technology-intensive, is likely to lead the new wave of globalization,” said Liang Guoyong, a senior economist with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The CIFTIS will definitely provide new momentum to the recovery of services trade and the global economy, as well as help mitigate the anti-globalization trend that has been expanding since the pandemic, and create an environment of international cooperation characterized by unity, openness, and inclusiveness, according to Liang.

During last year’s CIFTIS, China offered various proposals to the international community, demonstrating its commitment to increasing the size of its market cake in order to share growth possibilities with the rest of the world.

China has translated such proposals into tangible actions during the last year. Among the initiatives are the reduction of the negative list for foreign investment for four years in a row, as well as the publication of a negative list for cross-border trade in services at the Hainan free trade port.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, China is one of the countries with the greatest reductions in service trade restrictions in 2020.

It has bilateral services trade cooperation agreements with 14 countries and has almost 240 nations and areas with which it has economic contacts. In order to offer fruitful environment for high-quality growth, the country has also strengthened its control of the digital industry.

“China’s efforts to broaden its openness through the CIFTIS would help the world economy recover,” French writer and sinologist Sonia Bressler told Xinhua.

“If you take the services sector, it hardly existed 40 years ago when China was a peasant economy… China is developing faster in the services sector than any other country in the world,” said Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club in the United Kingdom. “Its role in interacting with the global economy is critical.”

Perry also addressed digital cooperation within the framework of China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the success of which may be due to “innovation within China that is building out along the Silk Road with foreign partners.”

On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the 2021 CIFTIS Global Trade in Services Summit, unveiling a slew of new measures to further facilitate services trade, such as exploring the development of national demonstration zones to promote the innovative development of services trade and increase support for the services sector in countries participating in the BRI, and establishing (SMEs).

According to Stella Mackenzie, a senior lecturer at the University of Botswana’s Faculty of Economics and Business Development, those actions are “a reiteration of China’s continued goodwill and willingness to work hand in hand with the rest of the globe in a win-win situation.”

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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Microsoft introduces new Surface products ahead of Windows 11 launch

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On the threshold of Windows 11, Microsoft has revealed the largest update to the Surface products by the company. With improved and advanced PixelSense displays, pen technology, mics and cameras, powerful silicon and versatile form factors, the new Surface devices are designed to help the new Windows operating system Windows 11’s innovation to the next level.

The brand affords Microsoft an opportunity to push the edge of what can be done with consumer hardware, generally with a focus on blurring the line between categories like a laptop, tablet and, more recently, phone. The Surface track record has been a solid one, overall, though messing around with form factors means no one gets it 100% right 100% of the time.

Surface Laptop Studio

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The newest product launched in tonight’s event was Surface Laptop Studio, a clever take on the two-in-one category that Microsoft has been bullish about forever, and the name fittingly pays homage to both the Surface Studio and Laptop, perhaps splitting the difference between the pair. Designed as an ideal product for developers, creative pros, designers and gamers, bringing users the power of a desktop, the portability of a laptop and a creative studio all in one.

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Microsoft also introduce upgraded new Surface Go, Pro and Pro X. The Go 3 gets a new Intel Core i3, which the company promises will offer up to 60% faster performance. The 10.5-inch system starts at $400 and will also add an LTE option, which is set to arrive at some point in the coming months. The Pro 8 two-in-one sports a 13-inch screen, 11th-gen Intel Core processors and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. The thin and light Surface Pro X, meanwhile, runs on a Microsoft SQ2 ARM chip.

The new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard provides storage and charging capability for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, keeping it nearby and ready whenever inspiration strikes.

Providing a simple and delightful Pen experience is one way Microsoft enable the technology to fade into the background. The intuitive ability to put Pen to screen immerses users in their productive and creative endeavors, boosts retention and offers new levels of versatility.

Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

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Microsoft has established a long-term commitment to sustainability and adaptability and has a commitment to becoming carbon negative, zero waste and water positive by 2030. To reach this goal Microsoft regularly evaluate every piece of the product and manufacturing processes through the lens of sustainability.

Every step matter on the journey toward greater sustainability. Microsoft in collaboration with SABIC has created a high-quality resin made of 20% recycled ocean plastic recovered or washed ashore from oceans and waterways. The Ocean Plastic Mouse, made from this resin, is an eco-friendly, comfortable accessory that takes small steps to reduce waste while putting a powerful accessory at users fingertips.

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Microsoft clearly wants you to upgrade your hardware to match if the convoluted system requirements are any indication. Surface products present a further sense of refinement to the line, in anticipation of Windows 11.

The Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse is, admittedly, a bit gimmicky as the company is pushing hardware upgrades. In a more ideal world, all the company’s devices would be made of similar components. But hey, if it rescues plastics from the ocean, it’s a start. The Surface Adaptive Kit is a consumer-facing piece of what has been among the industry’s leading accessibility efforts.

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Amount of money sent from Maldives to Abroad by foreigners has decreased

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The amount of cash sent by foreigners to them over the sea accounts has decreased.

Central Bank of Maldives MMA’s statistics shows that in the past 6 months, the sum of cash that foreigners who live in the Maldives have significantly decreased. In the past 6 months, they have sent 22.1 billion dollars or 341 million rufiyaa. But in the second quota foreigners had sent 9.6 million dollars or 148 million rufiyaa.

The most amount of money was sent to Bangladesh, as Bangladeshi nationals are the majority of foreigners in the Maldives. They had sent 7 million dollars to Bangladesh. MMA’s calculations state that that is 50% of the money sent out from the country to another country. The second-largest sum of money sent from the Maldives to other countries was India and Egypt.

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STELCO has stopped packaging water in plastic bottles.

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State Electric Company Limited (STELCO) has stopped packaging water in plastic bottles.

STELCO’s media official informed that production using one-time-use plastics will be stopped. STELCO has temporarily stopped their production and sale of plastic water bottles as they are researching an environmentally conscious and sustainable option. STELCO’s managing director Hassan Mughnee has noted that they will be introducing glass bottle options very soon.

In order to stop single-use plastics in the company, STELCO has provided alternative options in their offices as well, by installing water dispensers in each department. In STELCO’s department stores, instead of plastic shopping bags, they have changed to paper bags as well. And it has been banned to bring in one time use plastics into STELCO’s building.

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