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Global firms upbeat on China's digital trade outlook

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-11-26 07:27
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China Pavilion welcomes guests at the second Global Digital Trade Expo in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, Nov 22, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

HANGZHOU - Introducing new products, services and technologies, while also discussing cooperation intentions with Chinese partners and expressing ideas at forums -- at the ongoing second Global Digital Trade Expo (GDTE), foreign companies are eyeing growing opportunities in the Chinese market.

Shan Guohong, senior vice-president of Takeda and president of Takeda China, said China has scale advantage to develop digital trade, and its opening-up efforts have optimized the business environment.

Since Takeda entered China in 1994, the country has been deemed one of its important strategic markets, Shan said. Now, its Chinese subsidiary has developed into one of the best-performing transnational pharmaceutical firms in China.

"China is committed to building a digital trade market featuring high-level openness and cooperation, and the GDTE provides a platform to exchange ideas on new standards, issues and trends related to digital trade," he said.

At the second GDTE, Takeda released a report on digital healthcare practice and experience with its partners, while it also held an activity named "Takeda China Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit," showcasing its achievements in the Chinese market.

Having already cooperated with its Chinese partner in digitalization of medical care products and services, Takeda hopes to leverage the expo to work with different parties to explore paths to promote the high-quality development of the industry, thereby delivering more benefits to Chinese patients.

Takeda is not alone in hoping to use the GDTE as an opportunity to showcase advanced applications. At the Tesla booth, visitors flocked to see a humanoid robot named Optimus, which is capable of going up stairs, squatting, holding heavy items, grasping tiny objects and operating mechanical devices. Optimus is expected to enter mass production in 3-5 years.

Tesla, participating in the expo for a second time, is also displaying some its of new automobiles featuring innovative technology. "In the future, vehicles will surely become smarter and more digital-savvy," said Gao Weize, a regional general director of Tesla.

US company Amazon Global Selling is attending the expo for a second consecutive year. This year, the company has expanded its booth space and prepared speeches covering various topics, hoping to share its experience in cross-border e-commerce and deepen cooperation with Chinese partners.

Themed "Digital Trade, Global Access," the second GDTE is taking place in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, running from Nov 23 to 27. It has attracted 68 international organizations and business associations, as well as over 800 enterprises.

China announced the launch of the GDTE, to be held annually, on the occasion of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. "The expo is an important platform to propel digital trade, a public good to promote global digital economic cooperation, and a significant measure to build an open world economy," said Vice-Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen.

China's digital trade has made significant progress. In 2022, China's digitally-delivered service trade value rose 3.4 percent year-on-year to $372.71 billion, accounting for around 9 percent of the global total, according to a report released at the expo.

By the end of 2022, the number of Chinese digital service platform enterprises with an individual market value of over $1 billion had exceeded 200. Likewise, an increasing number of overseas brands have entered the Chinese market or expanded their business in China in response to the rise of digital trade in China.

China has massive data resources, a solid market foundation, and outstanding innovative capabilities in developing digital trade, while a string of supportive measures rolled out in recent years confirmed the country's sincerity to develop the sector, said Shan.

At the opening ceremony of the expo, China reaffirmed that it would build digital trade into a new engine for common development, and inject new impetus into world economic growth.

China will actively participate in the formulation of international rules and standards in the digital field and promote higher-level opening up of this field.

Also, it will continue to accelerate digital transformation and the development of cross-border e-commerce, improve digital infrastructure, establish pilot zones for Silk Road e-commerce cooperation and set up Belt and Road e-commerce markets with partners.

"We have seen the resolve of the Chinese government in promoting cooperation in digital areas," said Gao, adding that he believes that China can make full use of its massive data resources and rich application scenarios for digital technology, thereby adding new momentum to economic development and delivering more development opportunities to different industries.

"The space for the development of digital trade in China is vast," said Shan.

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