Shanghai initiates e-commerce platform to link Belt and Road industries
Shanghai is striving to build the first "Silk Road e-commerce" cooperation pilot zone, with a program kicking off on Wednesday to promote e-commerce exchanges between Shanghai and countries and regions along the Belt and Road.
The inaugural promotion program called "Silk Road E-Commerce Carnival," which runs from May 10th to May 20th, is an important part of the Ministry of Commerce's Brand and Quality Online Shopping Festival, and Shanghai's Double Five Shopping Festival, and seeks to deepen economic and trade cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative.
The event aims to promote consumption and showcase the unique cultural and natural resources of countries and regions along the Silk Road. Through a variety of online and offline activities, it will provide consumers with the unique charm of Silk Road countries including Thailand, New Zealand, Chile and Italy.
It's introducing more featured products, catering, tourism routes, and local culture from Belt and Road countries to the domestic market, allowing consumers to enjoy overseas products and culture without leaving the China.
To promote business-to-business cooperation between e-commerce platforms and enterprises from Belt and Road countries, it will also give full play to the spillover effect of the China International Import Expo, to accelerate their cooperation in terms of brand, supply chain, and technology.
For the past 10 years, China has maintained its position as the largest online retail market in the world. The country has consistently adhered to the principles of openness, cooperation, and mutual benefit while actively promoting international cooperation in Silk Road e-commerce and sharing the vast Chinese e-commerce market, said Li Jialu, deputy director of the e-commerce division of the Ministry of Commerce.
Since 2016, China has signed e-commerce cooperation memorandums with multiple countries and established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms. Its partners span across five continents, and "Silk Road e-commerce" has become a new channel and highlight for economic and trade cooperation.
In 2022, China's e-commerce transaction volume reached 43.83 trillion yuan (US$6.33 trillion), a year on year increase of 3.5 percent. The national online retail sales and cross-border e-commerce imports and exports totaled 13.79 trillion yuan and 2.11 trillion yuan, respectively, with growth of 4 percent and 9.8 percent from a year earlier.
Shanghai, meanwhile, is the largest trading port city globally and the largest international consumption center in China. It is also the largest imported consumer goods distribution center, and the preferred entry point for international brands into China. The city is home to a number of well-known domestic and international e-commerce companies, and is currently striving to establish the first pilot zone for Silk Road e-commerce cooperation.
The event has received an enthusiastic response from relevant consulates, trade promotion agencies, and e-commerce companies. Several companies, including Freshippo, Green Land Global Commodities Trading Port, and Hongqiao Pinhui, will hold activities themed on the partner countries during the campaign, while other e-commerce giants like Pinduoduo, Ctrip, and Ele.me have also released their key activities.
At the launch event, Freshippo signed a trade agreement with six countries along the Silk Road, namely, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cyprus, Russia, and Italy. The agreement, worth US$1 billion, focuses on commodity trade cooperation and aims to promote global procurement and exports of Silk Road products.
Meanwhile, Oriental International inked a procurement agreement with a Thai partner. Greenland Global Commodity Trading Port signed a live e-commerce cooperation with Chile, New Zealand, Russia and Singapore, creating exclusive Silk Road live broadcasting rooms for products, which will provide a platform for businesses from these countries to showcase their products to a larger audience.