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Report: China becoming digital trade leader

By Yang Yang | | Updated: 2019-04-09 14:19
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A night view of the Beijing CBD on Sept 9, 2018. [Photo/IC]

China's digital trade is expected to lead global trade development, with the economic value of digital trade-enabled productivity benefits to the Chinese economy estimated to reach 37 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion) by 2030,according to a report on how China can capture digital trade opportunities at home and abroad.

Digital trade has become increasingly important; there are a lot of definitions of digital trade going on, with the most common one being e-commerce, including monetary transactions and exchanges of goods and services, said research project head Konstantin Matthies, noting the report studies digital trade with a much broader approach.

"Digital trade" refers to the production, distribution, marketing, sale or delivery of goods and services – domestically and abroad – supported by cross-border digital flows. This consists of trade in digitally enabled products and services and cross-border data flows that create economic value in the domestic economy, according to the report jointly released by the Center for China and Globalization as well as the Hinrich Foundation.

Digital trade enabled up to 3.2 trillion yuan of economic value in the domestic economy in 2017, equivalent to nearly 4 percent of China's 82.08 trillion yuan GDP that year.This is significant, considering the economic value estimated for other Asia-Pacific economies ranges between 1 and 3 percent, said the Hinrich Foundation's Director of Public Affairs and Strategy Berenice Voets.

The potential economic value of digital trade is expected to be the equivalent of 22 percent of China's projected GDP in 2030, according to the report, outlining an optimistic outlook for digital trade development in China in the following years.

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