Ministry urges exporters to make full use of cross-border e-commerce
China Daily

Employees work at the production line of a company making children's bikes in Zhuji, Zhejiang province. (Photo: Xinhua)

China will roll out a slew of policies to further ease the COVID-19 pressure on its exporters, including steps like leveraging existing e-commerce platforms and optimizing the processing trade structure, a senior Commerce Ministry official said on Friday.

With the epidemic weighing on China's exporters, advantages like cross-border e-commerce need to be further enhanced. The exporters should also adopt business models such as participating in online events, sales and transaction to secure orders and market share, said Ren Hongbin, an assistant minister at the Ministry of Commerce.

The official stressed that cross-border e-commerce is a tool to break down time and space constraints, cut intermediate links and address information asymmetry between supply and demand sides. It can also create new growth opportunities for countries, businesses and consumer groups and help ensure the smooth flow of global supplies and industrial chains, as well as foreign trade.

The country will implement new practices, favorable tax policies and flexible supervision measures for export and import of retail goods to promote cross-border e-commerce in its 105 comprehensive pilot zones, according to the ministry.

With the central government deciding to host the 127th China Import and Export Fair, or the Canton Fair, online in June, Ren said the focus will be on online displays and business matching platforms, cross-border e-commerce zones and live marketing services.

"With the help of advanced information technology, companies from all over the world will be able to display their products and have negotiations online, as well as place orders and conduct business at home," he said.

Apart from promoting online business, the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission are also working on revising the Catalog of Encouraged Foreign Investment Industries to promote processing trade amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In the nationwide version of the catalog, a number of items will be added to boost high-quality development of manufacturing industry, so as to optimize the industrial structure of processing trade, said Li Xingqian, director-general of the ministry's department of foreign trade.

For the version applicable to the central and western regions, he said the revision focuses more on enhancing regional ability of industrial transfer and improving the regional structure of processing trade.

Processing trade refers to the business activity of importing all, or part of, the raw and auxiliary materials from abroad, and re-exporting the finished products after processing or assembly by companies within the Chinese mainland.