In a congratulatory message to the second Global Digital Trade Expo held in Hangzhou, President Xi Jinping highlighted the importance of leveraging digital trade as a driving force for global development and economic growth. He called on all participants to utilize the expo as a platform for cooperation, common development, and shared benefits.
Digital trade has emerged as a prominent facet of international commerce, and President Xi commended China’s efforts to align itself with high-standard international economic and trade rules while enhancing its digital trade governance systems. These actions, he noted, have opened new opportunities for the global community.
Vice-President Han Zheng, who represented President Xi at the expo, emphasized China’s commitment to digital trade as a cornerstone of its efforts to become a strong trading nation. China aims to foster an open, inclusive, fair, and nondiscriminatory environment for digital economic development, working collaboratively with other nations.
China’s commitment to digital transformation is evident in its plans to develop cross-border e-commerce, construct digital infrastructure, and establish a Silk Road e-commerce cooperation pilot zone. These initiatives aim to create a substantial e-commerce market in partnership with Belt and Road countries.
The Global Digital Trade Expo, themed “Digital Trade, Global Access,” attracted over 800 companies and nearly 15,000 professional buyers, including more than 1,700 overseas participants. Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, emphasized the rapid growth of digital trade, which now accounts for a quarter of all global trade.
Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, acknowledged China’s significant contributions to the digital trade landscape, particularly through investments in digital trade infrastructure and technologies in regions like Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. These investments have fostered digital connectivity, reduced the digital divide, and enhanced participation in the global digital marketplace.
A consistent international framework is crucial to ensure fair and predictable national policies on cross-border digital transactions as the digital landscape continues to expand.
China’s digitally-delivered service trade reached a record high of $372.71 billion in 2022, growing by 3.4% year-on-year. Cross-border e-commerce also saw substantial growth, reaching 2.11 trillion yuan ($296.2 billion) in 2022, a 9.8% increase compared to the previous year. E-commerce exports amounted to 1.55 trillion yuan, an 11.7% rise year-on-year.
Ding Lei, CEO of NetEase, stressed the importance of digital trade in advancing global economic development, urging Chinese enterprises to accelerate comprehensive digital transformation. Amazon’s overseas marketplaces have seen an increase in the number of Chinese sellers, driven by overseas consumption recovery and increased demand for online shopping from global consumers.