On 16 May 2018, participants of the “ASEAN-China Belt and Road Business Forum: the First E-Commerce Cooperation Dialogue” had intensive discussions and shared their thoughts on e-commerce development and cooperation. They reviewed the current development and future trends of e-commerce in China and ASEAN, shared successful experience in creating new models, analyzed opportunities and challenges in e-commerce cooperation, and explored direction and ways of cooperation in the future.
Participants highly commended Premier Li Keqiang’s successful visit to Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat. Premier Li stressed that the two sides would forge greater synergy between their development strategies, and China would share the Chinese experiences on the Internet Plus model and the massive entrepreneurship and innovation initiative. The two sides have also agreed to boost cross-border e-commerce to facilitate the cooperation between the small and medium-sized enterprises. All participants agreed that these new consensus and measures point out direction of innovation cooperation and e-commerce development for ASEAN and China and would give fresh impetus to the business cooperation and innovation-driven development.
Participants indicated that new round of scientific and technological revolution is unfolding globally, and innovation is playing an increasingly important leading role in social and economic affairs. Deepening scientific, technological and innovative cooperation is a common need for both ASEAN and China to realize sustainable development. The continuous development of information technology has driven e-commerce to integrate profoundly with all sectors, giving rise to new commercial models and activities that transcend traditional boundaries such as borders. A new pattern of innovation-driven and universally beneficial trade is taking shape. These trends have become new impetus to the world economy and provided new growth areas in ASEAN-China cooperation.
Participants believed that the e-commerce cooperation between China and ASEAN enjoys solid foundation, strong momentum and broad future. The coordination of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative has become a new highlight of ASEAN-China cooperation. Currently, the global e-commerce centre has shifted to emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific. With 772 million netizens, China has the largest and most dynamic e-commerce market. In 2017, the total e-commerce transactions reached 29.2 trillion, and the overall B2C sales revenue and online shopping consumers topped the world. With the fastest growth rate in the world, netizens in ASEAN exceed 260 million, making ASEAN the 9th largest e-commerce partner of China. In line with the strong momentum of e-commerce cooperation, the two sides have built sound exchange and cooperation mechanisms. Chinese e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and JD Group have entered ASEAN for years. They have worked with the local partners to expand their business covering a wide range of areas including e-commerce, shared travel, internet finance, online media, games, etc.
The participants pointed out several challenges facing e-commerce cooperation, such as different levels of infrastructure, language and culture differences, shortage of e-commerce professionals, and came up with suggestions in dealing with those challenges. They agreed that both ASEAN and China should take advantage of the fast development momentum of e-commerce cooperation. Public and private partnership should be further strengthened. The government should play a leading role by enhancing policy facilitation. Enterprises cooperation should be further promoted. A series of measures should be taken to give greater support to e-commerce cooperation, such as pushing forward integration of cross-border flow of goods, building of information infrastructure, strengthening cooperation on supervision and regulation of cross-border e-commerce, forging green channel for cross-border e-commerce, etc. The two sides should also carry out cooperation on capacity building and personnel training, to cultivate professionals who are familiar with market, transaction model and consumption behavior of both sides and have good knowledge of the rules and characteristics of transaction of major cross-border e-commerce platforms. The two sides should also strengthen the exchanges and interactions among young talents in science and technology.
Many entrepreneurs from both sides expressed strong willingness and intention on e-commerce cooperation. They said that they would attract investments and talents according to the industrial level and specific condition of relevant ASEAN countries, establish training centres, jointly build transforming centres which combine production, study, research and utilization, establish strategic think tanks or consultation institutes, operation centres, and industrial parks, so as to gradually foster ecosystem of ASEAN-China e-commerce. Representatives from Indonesia and Malaysia also introduced the investment policies of their countries.
The participants said that the fast development of e-commerce in ASEAN and China provided new historical opportunities. Building on the past successful experience, the two sides should continue to uphold the spirit of win-win cooperation, follow the trend of globalization, explore new models of e-commerce cooperation and usher in a new era characterized with extensive consultation, joint contribution, shared benefits and win-win results.
During the forum, Secretary-General Yang Xiuping met with the representatives of Chinese entrepreneurs who attended the forum. She briefed on the mandate and work of ACC. Entrepreneurs expressed thanks to ACC and Chinese Mission to ASEAN for organizing the forum which gave them an opportunity to know the market and business partners, and laid a solid foundation for future cooperation. Secretary-General Yang Xiuping expressed appreciation to the entrepreneurs for their support and reminded them to establish and run their business according to the local laws, try to integrate with local society, take social responsibilities while doing business, so as to achieve common development.