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BEIJING (Reuters) - China aims to boost its services sector's share in gross domestic product (GDP) to 60 percent by 2025, the National Development and Reform Commission said in guidelines for developing the sector published on Wednesday.
The services sector accounted for 51.6 percent of GDP in 2016, a rise of 1.4 percentage points from 2015, when the level surpassed 50 percent for the first time.
A fast-growing services sector will help China upgrade and balance its economy and improve its global competitiveness in the long term, the commission, the top planning agency, said.
The share of the services sector in GDP in China lags that of developed countries, where it is usually about 70 percent, while China's services trade deficit expanding, it added.
China's services sector is likely to employ 55 percent of the working population by 2025, the agency said.
Services firms overtook manufacturers to be the biggest employer in China for the first time ever in 2011, accounting for 35 percent of all jobs.
Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Robert Birsel