The conference ‘Industry Dialogue on Trade Facilitation for E-Commerce Development’ took place in Geneva, Switzerland on 3 April 2019. This is a continuation of the conference which was broken up into 6 sessions and this report will summarise the last 2 sessions.
Session 5- International Co-operation Models for Cross-Border E-commerce - Mini-report
The moderator for this session was Ms Shen Yuehua (Secretary-General, China Electronics Chamber of Commerce). The first panellist Mr Quan Zhao (Trade in Services Officer, International Trade Centre) stated that the ITC has contributed to helping developing countries use the Internet platform to their advantage. More specifically, to helping African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to register their business and arrange payment options to facilitate export products. He stressed the importance of tracking the successes and challenges of SMEs so that policymakers are better informed to make decisions. Mr Jan Hoffmann (Chief, Trade Logistics Branch, UNCTAD) talked about the stages of digitalisation which include maximising efficiency in reliability in the existing processes, moving beyond efficiency to capture new sources of value, and reinventing logistics trade and business models. He also included the challenges for industries such as interoperability, competition, and development. He mentions that all 37-trade facilitation (TF) measures included in the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) have a positive correlation with e-commerce readiness as a result, TF measures help improve revenue collection, controls, and security.
Mr Ge Lang (President, Shanghai Bangde Vocational College) believes in combining education with industrial needs, i.e. he believes in a vocational college that focuses on educating students on the needs of Shanghai. Mr Zhu Jiamin (Chairman, EES International Logistics Co.) hopes TF can improve customs clearance more specifically with electronics since it is a growing and dominating sector. Jiamin suggests SMEs should guarantee service links, improve their blockchain service, credibility, and after-sales service in order to build trust with clients. Ms Shen Ting (General Manager, Shanghai Zeji Textile Co.) stated that cross border e-commerce has disrupted the traditional way of trading. The brand company is going to dominate the market, so they are looking to come up with new ideas to satisfy the customers need and bring in new ones. To accomplish this, her company is going to pay closer attention to customer service being provided, quality control inspectors, and be more aware of different types of customers.
Session 6- Opportunities for Global Trade Development and Transformation: Case Studies of Cross-Border e-Commerce in Hangzhou
[Read more session reports and live updates from the UNCTAD E-commerce Week]
The moderator for this session was Mr Li Xinghui (Secretary-General, Hangzhou Cross-Border Electronics Chamber of Commerce). The first panellist Ms Zhang Weizhi (Expert, Expert Committee of CECC) suggests using high technology and emerging technology to support AI, as well as cloud computing. In the application of the new technology they are trying not only to focus on goods but on integrated services as well. She believes SMEs need a universal presence to be sustainable and have a profitable profit to manufacturing ratio. Mr Jaime Oviedo (CEO, Lian Lian UK) said that his company has been helping SMEs do trade negotiations. They have launched a plan to invest 30 billion in LianLian Link, the world's first trading platform to integrate logistic marketing payment in hopes to achieve lower service costs to increase the profit to cost ratios for the SMEs. Ms Wang Wei (Founder of Cross-Border E-commerce Global Easy Delivery Platform) noted that her company is looking at how to promote trade logistics in SMEs, mainly by using their experience to help comply with export rules and reduce costs through transparency and logistics. Sometimes sellers do not understand the regulation in the importing country so her company is used as a platform that can take care of the payments and make it easier for the sellers.
Ms Nataly Liao (Director, Everich and Tomic Housewares Co) gives the perspective of a former SME. She attributes the company’s success to the understanding and compliance of the international rules. For the future of her company they are upgrading to smart manufacturing and have invested in building a smart factory. Cross-border e-commerce is consumer-oriented, so marketing of the product is very important. With this understanding, they are working with the mainstream media to build a brand. The last panellist, Ms Qiao Lisha (Director, Al Data Department, Hangzhou Tuidian Technology and Development) states her company uses AI and logistics technology to speed up logistics, building up a database with the main purpose of complying with the procedures and cataloguing of products. Lisha believes educating SMEs on fees, trade restrictions, and product tracking rules may help them comply with the global trade policies.
By Jainee Feliz-Cabrera