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Will E-commerce Become Facilitator of China-ASEAN Trade?
   2014-09-17 10:58:06    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo

Promoting bilateral trade by developing e-commerce has become a heated topic at the ongoing China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning.

Our reporter Yu Yang has more.

 

Official numbers show China is the biggest trade partner with ASEAN's member countries, while the ten-nation bloc is China's third-biggest trade partner.

As more products pour into markets on both sides, Sun Suojun believes in the need to develop e-commerce.

"Traditional trading companies are usually small in scale, and focus on a limited number of products. Their business mode is to get the dealership rights of certain foreign products, and then circulate product through different agents before reaching the market. But through e-commerce, all the cost generated from the circulating process can be saved."

Sun Suojun is the founder and CEO of Meiliwan.com.

The online shopping platform is the first of its kind in China featuring commodities from Southeast Asian countries.

As the most popular commodities imported from the region are still agricultural products, Sun says e-commerce can better meet market demand with tailored services.

"Traditionally these products are sold in a rough and raw way, like in the farmers' market where their value cannot be fully represented. We are doing the opposite, setting standards for these products, packaging the best fruits from the region, so customers can choose according to their actual needs if they want high-end products or just for daily use."

Paul Mak is the interim president of the Malaysian Durian Exporters Association.

He shares the same views that e-commerce can be a more direct and effective way to introduce Malaysian durian into China.

The Association signed a cooperation deal with Sun Suojun's company at an e-commerce summit, a sideline event of this year's China-ASEAN Expo.

However, Paul Mak also has concerns.

"What we are more concerned is not about the sell and purchase but more of the delivery of the products. Because our products are frozen, so the coaching management(not sure about the words) is very important. It cannot be long, so you can get the quality product from Malaysia to Chinese purchasers."

Logistics concerns are also an issue raised by officials from China and ASEAN countries attending the e-commerce summit.

Besides pledging to build a faster maritime route, governments in the region also work on realizing RMB settlement in regional trade, to facilitate online business transactions.

Despite the challenges ahead, with the growing number of internet users in China and Southeast Asian countries, the online market has still lured many big players to set up their own projects in Nanning, specializing in internet business in the region.

These include China's e-commerce giant Alibaba and Jingdong.com.

For CRI, this is Yu Yang.

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