Opening Session featured knowledge and insights from 12 Southern Countries.
29 March 2021, New York – China’s first national-level cross-border e-commerce fair took place between 18 and 20 March in Fuzhou, which is positioned as one of China’s most digitalized cities. The event opened with the 2021 Silk Road E-commerce International Cooperation Forum which showcased the knowledge and insights of 12 countries from the global South.
According to the Fuzhou Municipal Government, the three-day event was the first of its kind in China and attracted 130,000 visitors, close to 2,400 suppliers along the CBEC (Cross-border E-commerce) industry chain, engaged 33 mainstream CBEC platforms from all over the world, and brokered intent transactions worth over USD3.5 billion.
Noteworthy was the opening session “Silk Road E-commerce” International Cooperation Forum which was attended by representatives of 13 countries’ embassies and consulates in China, including Russia, Poland and 11 developing countries: Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Rwanda, Samoa, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vietnam, in addition to the senior leadership of China’s commerce authorities at the national and provincial levels.
According to speakers at the Forum, CBEC had witnessed steady growth in these developing countries, evidenced by increased e-commerce trade volumes, rapid technical advancement, and enhanced international cooperation among governments, regional organizations, and the private sector. However, except for China, many of the participating countries are faced with challenges including insufficient regulatory framework, logistics and information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures; the potentials of women entrepreneurs in e-commerce are yet to be tapped. Many of the participating countries demonstrated interest to strengthen the collaboration with China to promote the sustainable and inclusive development of CBEC in their countries, as well as needs for platforms for international dialogues, for promoting inclusive international trade cooperation in e-commerce, and for enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships with all sectors.
Fuzhou, the capital city of China’s second-largest CBEC exporting province, Fujian, is home to many manufacturers and e-commerce sellers. This Trade Fair tapped strategically into the city’s development vision of digitization. Towards the goal of “Digital Fuzhou”, taking advantage of its competitive industrial capacities and infrastructures, the city has been innovating CBEC business models, advancing digitalization in foreign trade, and promoting clustered development of CBEC companies.
Fuzhou city is a partner of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) among Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities for Sustainable Development, a global project initiated by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) with support from the Government of China for promoting SSTC at the city level leveraging comparative advantages of UN specialized agencies in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Per Project Board decisions and needs survey results in 2020, the Cities Project plans to launch a city cluster focusing on South-South cooperation in E-Commerce, Digitalization and Smart City via UNOSSC’s digital platform South-South Galaxy.