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Digital tech key to secure world supply chain

China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-05 09:39
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Participants attend the opening ceremony of the first CISCE in Beijing on Nov 28. WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY

Role of e-commerce

As more small and medium-sized Chinese manufacturers started to tap the global market, e-commerce platforms have played their part. Nanjing-based Weichi group is one of them.

Weichi, an online intermediary that helps increase the exposure of mechanical and electrical accessories made by local exporters via overseas social media and search engines, has seen rapid growth during the past few years.

"We serve more than 2,000 Chinese foreign trade enterprises every year and most of their clients come from the US and Europe," said Yang Qingyao, marketing manager of Weichi, at its booth.

Overseas buyers in mechanical and electrical supply chains pay more attention to quality and affordability than brand awareness, and the online platform facilitates those global transactions, Yang added.

Newegg, a Los Angeles, US-based online retailer of computer hardware and consumer electronics, came to the expo because it is optimistic about China's local IT gadgets that upgrade from low-priced products to prestigious brands.

"The made-in-China product price per order at Newegg achieved $300, which is the highest in North America for an IT product platform," said Chen Gang, executive vice-president of Newegg China.

Other companies, including Amazon Global Logistics, Walmart, Google, Visa and Mastercard, set up booths at the digital tech zone of CISCE to look for business opportunities in the Chinese supply chain.

Interconnected network

Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said at the CISCE's opening ceremony that the real story of globalization is written through supply chains, an interconnected network that connects continents, especially in a digital age.

In 2022, China's digitally delivered service trade value rose 3.4 percent year-on-year to $372.71 billion, a historic high, according to the Ministry of Commerce. 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.

"Now the global supply chain is constantly evolving and diversifying to support our digital economy," said Wang Binying, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, at the expo.

An initiative put forward at the CISCE called for more support for enterprises to strengthen cooperation in building digital infrastructure such as information communications, cloud computing, data centers, and smart cities.

Events like CISCE are important and unique in their ability to bring together people up and down the supply chain, said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the International Trade Center.

The CISCE came after a succession of meetings and trade shows China hosted this year, including the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, the China International Import Expo in Shanghai and the Global Digital Trade Expo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in an effort to secure and expand the global supply chain and inject new impetus into world economic growth.

At the recently concluded second Global Digital Trade Expo in Hangzhou, deals on 32 projects with a total value of over 155.8 billion yuan were reached by leading enterprises in the sector, including those from Germany, France, Japan, Hungary and Singapore.

"Digital connectivity is set to be one of the biggest difference makers when it comes to the future of trade," said Coke-Hamilton. "And China has a lot of experience in this area and can share best practices and lessons learned with small businesses of other developing countries."


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