Sino-Turkish e-commerce platform ready
Updated: 2016-04-04 13:18
By Tanyingzi In Chongqing(China Daily)
Small and medium-sized enterprises from China and Turkey can now log onto an e-commerce platform to trade with each other as part of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote online business.
The pilot project has been jointly established by DHgate.com, a leading Chinese online wholesale marketplace, and the Chongqing Logistics City.
The southwestern municipality is the country's only city to host the cross-border e-commerce project, which aims to set an example for cooperation between China and the countries along the ancient Silk Road.
At a ceremony attended by President Xi Jinping and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in November, China signed its first cross-border e-commerce cooperation agreement with Turkey as a way to strengthen its voice in setting new global trade rules.
The platform will provide a series of services in both Chinese and Turkish, including skills training, online exhibition and Internet financing.
"With strong support from both governments, this platform can enjoy many favorable policies in customs, tariffs and finance," said Hou Jiancheng, the project director at DHgate.
"We predict that the value of trade on this platform will reach $500 million this year."
It is expected that the customs clearance time will be reduced to five working days from the current 15-20 days and the tariffs will be greatly cut, he added.
Wang Shutong, founder and CEO of DHgate, said: "Cross-border e-commerce is an effective measure China can use to ease the impact of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement) and help it establish a voice in international trade rules."
"As a leader in e-commerce, China can actually export its e-commerce standards to Turkey and other emerging markets."
As an important transportation and trade hub, Turkey is one of the fastest-developing e-commerce countries.
In 2014, one-third of Turkey's population shopped online, with the value of online transactions reaching $18 billion.
The World SME Forum, a nonprofit organization to promote the growth of Turkish small and medium-sized enterprises, works closely with the local government and Chinese partners.
"Our aim is to help design, develop and implement this project on the Turkish side with a view to realize its economic benefits as early as possible and to the fullest extent," said forum CEO Tunc Uyanik.
Located at the intersection of the Belt and Road Initiative's trade route and the Yangtze River Economic Zone, the Chongqing Logistics City is set to become a major international port zone in inland China.
It is the starting point of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe (Yuxinou) International Railway and boasts a full range of cross-border e-commerce infrastructure.
Another advantage of this Sino-Turkey e-commerce project is the change of logistics models, according to Luo Shuquan, president of the CLC. "In the past, logistics between China and Turkey were by air or water and now the clients can use the Yuxinou railway," he said.
To boost trade, Chongqing will launch a new train route to Turkey this month.
The intercontinental rail link made its debut from the CLC's Tuanjiecun Railway Station in January 2011.
The 11,180-kilometer link begins in Chongqing, crosses the border into Kazakhstan at Alashankou, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and passes through Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching its terminus in Duisburg, Germany.
It cuts what was a five-week shipping period to about two weeks and costs 80 percent less than air transport.
(China Daily USA 04/04/2016 page14)
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