Digital economy powers China-ASEAN trade

By Xinhua
Published : 31 Oct 2021 09:03 PM | Updated : 03 Nov 2021 09:03 AM

Indonesia's coffee, Thailand's latex pillow, and other products from over 1,500 global companies have attracted swarms of visitors to the online China-ASEAN Expo running uninterrupted.

The online expo was launched last year, and to date, its website has recorded over 22.7 million visits.

"The online expo has been in operation all year round since its launch. It is literally a never-ending expo," said Wang Lei, secretary-general of the expo's secretariat.

The expo has attracted 1,517 companies, among which those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries take up a large part. The ASEAN became China's largest trading partner in 2020 and has continued to maintain strong growth momentum this year, with the bilateral trade volume reaching 630.54 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters, up 31.1 percent year on year.

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Thanks to the development of cloud computing, big data, and other technologies, various forms of the digital economy, such as e-commerce and digital payment, have helped boost the China-ASEAN trade and economic cooperation. "More Thai fruits are entering the Chinese market through online e-commerce platforms," said Qin Qingxian, who runs an agricultural technology company, adding that durian is particularly loved by Chinese consumers and its online sales have surged this year.

Since 2016, China has established bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanisms with 22 countries across the world, helping a variety of products such as coffee, nuts and durian from the ASEAN countries sell well on Chinese e-commerce platforms.

South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which borders Vietnam -- one of the ASEAN countries -- is the frontier and window of China's opening-up and cooperation with the ASEAN. From January to July this year, Guangxi's imports and exports in cross-border e-commerce surged 446.3 percent year on year.

"Nanning, capital of Guangxi, introduces Huawei and other leading enterprises while nurturing a batch of high-quality local companies," said Zhang Chun, deputy head of the city's big data development bureau.

In recent years, China and the ASEAN have joined hands to bolster bilateral cooperation in 5G, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, and other fields. The China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co., Ltd., a Guangxi-based info-tech company, has been committed to China-ASEAN digital and information industrial cooperation. The company has launched a number of projects in the digital and communication industries with the ASEAN countries. "The ASEAN's digital economy is on a fast track of development, and there is great potential for the two sides to forge industrial cooperation," said Lu Dongliang, president of the company.

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