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China's Xi supports Beijing free trade zone

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday he supports the city of Beijing in setting up a pilot international free trade zone for the service sector and digital economy and to promote scientific and technological innovation.

Xi made the remarks while addressing the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services via video. He did not give details on when or how the new zone would be set up.

“China will unswervingly increase its openness and set up a robust cross-border services trade-negative list system,” he said.

A negative list sets out prohibited and restricted industries for foreign investment. The Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that one would be set up for services by the end of this year.

Xi also said China supports the establishment of a global alliance of trade and services, and would further ease market access for the service sector.

Reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing; Writing by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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