Boosting ties E-commerce platform launched to promote China-ASEAN trade
An e-commerce platform was launched on Friday to promote trade between China and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as the two sides are keen to tap into the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce.
The China-ASEAN platform, eshopasean.com, is operated by China’s retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co. It is designed to help Southeast Asian small and medium-sized enterprises better crack the China market, where a growing number of consumers want foreign products.
Jiang Zengwei, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said e-commerce and big data will play a very important role in boosting multilateral economic ties.
“The agricultural produce and daily products from Southeast Asia are very popular among Chinese consumers. Cross-border e-commerce is becoming a new growth engine,” Jiang added.
China has been ASEAN’s largest trading partner for seven consecutive years. In 2015, the trade volume between the two sides exceeded $472 billion, official data shows.
Cross-border e-commerce is also booming. Last year, China exported products worth more than $80 billion to ASEAN countries via e-commerce.
The trend is expected to continue, given that over 700 million people in China have been connected to the internet, and ASEAN is the fastestgrowing region in terms of internet users, Jiang added.
According to Suning, the cross-border e-commerce platform will initially focus on importing products from ASEAN countries, focusing on food, cosmetics, healthcare products, fruit and other daily necessities.
In 2017, the firm aims to attract 200 merchants from ASEAN countries to open stores on the platform and help generate 10 million sales orders.
Zhang Jingdong, chairman of Suning, said the cross-border e-commerce platform is the first step for the Nanjingbased firm to expand its presence in that market.
The move came shortly after China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd signed several agreements on Thursday with Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce to help the country develop e-commerce.