Cross-border online platform to spur investment
The newly established business-tobusiness, cross-border e-commerce platform will enhance trust and mutual cooperation and spur trade and investment ties between members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, analysts say.
In the technology sector, the business-to-business platform will use blockchain technology, internet of things, cloud computing and big data to provide support for high-quality products in agriculture, energy, mechanical manufacturing and new materials.
However, more efforts are needed to boost the cross-border payment and settlement platforms and the credit and factoring systems, along with steps to explore more financial products that are suitable for SCO members, the analysts say.
A government guidance fund also needs to be established for tackling the investment and financing needs of enterprises, they add.
In terms of standards formulation, relevant standards related to supply chain, food safety and production within the SCO countries also need to be established.
In 2015, Premier Li Keqiang proposed the establishment of an SCO e-commerce alliance to facilitate transnational e-business. The alliance is expected to facilitate customs clearance of cross-border e-commerce and improve logistics capacity.
Moreover, the development plan of the first demonstration zone in Qingdao, Shandong province, which hosted the 18th SCO Summit on June 9 and 10, has been partially completed.
The zone will help to smoothen cooperation between the SCO countries and build a new platform for the member states to trade on a global scale. It will build overseas processing and assembly bases, logistics parks and cross-border e-commerce trade platforms to promote economic and trade cooperation among SCO members.
China’s cross-border online shopping grew by 23.5 percent to 6.3 trillion yuan ($953 billion; 834 billion euros; £734 billion) in sales last year, according to iiMedia Research, a market consultancy.
Market researcher eMarketer estimates that by 2020, a quarter of the Chinese population, or more than half of China’s digital buyers, will be shopping for cross-border products, either directly on foreign-based websites or through third parties.
“China’s cross-border e-commerce is developing rapidly, and the logistics and freight transportation system within the SCO countries has relatively improved, which in turn will boost economic and trade cooperation between China and SCO countries,” says Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Shanghaibased Wanqing Consultancy.
Lu says the establishment of an e-commerce alliance among SCO countries will further break trade barriers, admitting there are still challenges, for instance, due to different payment methods and settlement financing among the members.