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Belt and Road Vision opens new e-commerce window

By Zheng Yiran | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-12-05 14:37

Consumers in China no longer need to travel abroad to get their favorite duty-free goods, such as wines from Spain or hand-made carpets from Turkey. With the help of e-commerce, they can buy whatever they want from the comfort of their home.

On Monday, economies related to the Belt and Road Vision jointly issued a digital economy international cooperation initiative during the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. Now, consumers and dealers from home and abroad can benefit from trading best-quality goods and services around the globe at relatively reasonable costs.

The initiative, namely the Belt and Road digital economy international cooperation initiative, involves countries and regions involved in the initiative, such as China, Laos, Serbia, Thailand, and Turkey. It aims at aggregating global resources in the e-commerce market, to boost production and innovation, and thus to achieve multilateral sustainable development among those economies.

Based on online platforms, the initiative covers all fields involved in cross-border trade, such as operations, payment, storage, logistics, financing, as well as tax and rate, creating a global digital network.

"I feel delighted to see the initiative launched in China, in that consumers can easily purchase global goods, such as cherries from Chili, Durians from Malaysia, as well as hand-made boots from Italy, at a reasonable price," said Diane Wang, founder and CEO of DHgate.com, an e-commerce platform she established in 2004 in China.

"The initiative enables all countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Vision to benefit from trade globalization in the new digital era, breaking boundaries between economies to integrate all goods and services around the world, which is not only a blessing for consumers, but also for merchants."

Diane added that China is serving as a great template in the e-commerce market to share with the rest of the world.

"China has experienced a transformation from a follower in the 1.0 phase of global trade, which was totally completed offline, to a walker in the '2.0 era', also known as 'cross-border e-commerce era', and finally a forerunner in the '3.0 digital trade era', demonstrating a revolutionary business mode."

According to Diane, DHgate.com has already promoted this new business mode through its own method. This June, it launched its Digital Trade Center (DTC), a new e-commerce platform built in overseas countries and regions, integrating online and offline resources worldwide, to boost trade and transactions between China and those economies and bring about benefits for local enterprises and the public both side.

By the end of this year, it will land its DTCs in eight countries, including Hungary, Australia, Spain, the United States, Turkey, Russia, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates.

It is at the meantime discussing with Sweden and Chile for cooperation, offering better trade options for China and those economies.

Same as DHgate.com, many e-commerce platforms, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Global Source Ltd and JD.com are all getting ready to embrace the new mode brought about by the initiative.

Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that one of the major concepts of the Belt and Road Vision is that related economies should make joint efforts to improve the interconnection and interworking system in the region and facilitating cooperation between them.

"The newly launched initiative upholds this concept to offer significant inspirations for related economies in the new digitalized era. Nevertheless, the new e-commerce mode should integrate with real economy in order to achieve the optimization of resource allocation within international markets," he said.

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