BEIJING, Dec. 9 -- Annual output of China's service sector may exceed that of the secondary sector for the first time ever in 2013, an expert said Monday.
In the first nine months of the year, value-added output of the service sector reached 17.6 trillion yuan (1.17 trillion U.S. dollars), slightly more than 17.51 trillion yuan for manufacturing, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
The service sector's annual output may top that of secondary industry, or manufacturing, in 2013 for the first time, marking a historic change in the country's economic restructuring, Zhang Zhigang, head of the China General Chamber of Commerce, said at a forum.
Zhang lauded China's policies to replace turnover tax with value-added tax (VAT) within the service sector in order to reduce double taxation and alleviate the burden of affected companies.
"The move is very helpful for promoting the growth of the service sector, and the effects of policy will further emerge after implementation," he said, adding that VAT reform may reduce the tax burden by 120 billion yuan this year.
Following regional experiments since the beginning of 2012, VAT reform was rolled out throughout the country on Aug. 1, reducing taxes on businesses by 94 billion yuan in the first 10 months of this year.
"It is a common trend of industrial transformation in developed nations for the service sector to become the largest in the national economy," Zhang said.