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Cross-border zones for e-commerce listed

By Zhang Yue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-14 10:30
A user of Pinduoduo shows the interface of the app in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Twenty-two cities selected as pilot areas to improve foreign trade

China has newly identified 22 cities as venues for comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zones in an effort to promote opening-up and upgrade foreign trade, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

"Our firm commitment to opening-up and efforts to bring forward the development of cross-border e-commerce and other new forms of business, and increase imports and exports, will better place us to meet the needs of upgraded consumption and overall development," Li stressed at the meeting.

The comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zones set up in 13 cities by the State Council in 2015 have since made notable progress, with cross-border e-commerce turnover doubling two years in a row. Some of their practices in customs clearance and logistics facilitation have been replicated nationwide and have helped boost entrepreneurship, innovation and industrial upgrading.

"Cross-border e-commerce has made rapid and notable achievements since the pilot zones were established and has become a new area of growth for imports and exports," Li said. "We should facilitate domestic consumption and at the same time improve export quality in the global market."

New pilot zones will be established in 22 cities: Beijing, Hohhot, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Nanchang, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanning, Haikou, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xiamen, Tangshan, Wuxi, Weihai, Zhuhai, Dongguan and Yiwu.

Competent departments and city governments need to deepen reform in foreign trade by streamlining administration, delegating authority, improving regulation and strengthening services. Starting with cross-border e-commerce, they should further streamline approval and administrative procedures in logistics, storage and custom clearance to promote liberalization and facilitation of international trade, stimulate the innovation of business forms and expand the import of more competitive foreign products.

The above measures should be tailored to local circumstances and bold steps should be taken to explore institutional innovations and supporting measures that will facilitate the development of cross-border e-commerce. Pioneering efforts are encouraged to introduce new management models, technology standards and information sharing. Regulatory innovation will be advanced in an accommodative, prudent and effective way. E-commerce companies are encouraged to develop overseas warehouses and global marketing networks, cultivate their own brand names and diversify export markets to upgrade foreign trade and enhance economic competitiveness.

"Government departments should enact more effective policies and offer greater support in light of progress in actual implementation," Li added.

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