BEIJING,  — China’s services trade value grew 25.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2022, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Thursday.

The total trade value stood at nearly 1.46 trillion yuan (about 221.86 billion U.S. dollars), according to the data.

Services exports expanded 30.8 percent year on year to 713.98 billion yuan, and services imports were 743.01 billion yuan, up 21.3 percent from a year ago.

The growth of services trade exports outpaced import growth by 9.5 percentage points, resulting in a 56.4 percent drop in the services trade deficit to 29.03 billion yuan from the same period last year.

Trade in knowledge-intensive services raked in 615.66 billion yuan, up 14.1 percent year on year, the data showed.

Knowledge-intensive services exports gained 16.3 percent to hit 350.06 billion yuan, led by categories such as computing and information services, as well as intellectual property royalties.

Imports of knowledge-intensive services climbed 11.4 percent to 265.6 billion yuan, driven by the 134.9 percent surge in insurance services, Thursday’s data showed.

Travel services recovered during the period, as trade in the sector advanced 12.6 percent from last year to 215.55 billion yuan.

In March alone, China’s services trade increased 14.1 percent year on year to 503.6 billion yuan, according to the ministry.

China has taken a slew of measures to expand the opening-up of the services industry and pledged to make more efforts to promote the opening-up of trade in services to a higher level.

Originally published by Xinhua