Four months after the signing of the MoU on China-Turkey e-commerce pilot, a cross-border e-commerce launching ceremony was held in Chongqing, China, on March 31, 2016 with the high level participation of NDRC, Chongqing Municipality, WSF and DHgate.
It was a pleasure to be in Chongqing to witness the inauguration of this landmark project, which will foster improved trade and economic relations between China and Turkey. I am particularly enthusiastic about this endeavor as it will tremendously benefit the SMEs in both China and Turkey, by opening up markets and facilitating trade for them. Hence leading to growth, increased jobs, and better lives on both sides.
Situated at the eastern and western ends of the Eurasian continent, China and Turkey were the starting and ending points of the ancient Silk Road — and throughout history, they contributed significantly to the development and prosperity of human civilization.
I am confident that the China-Turkey cross-border e-commerce pilot will inject the needed dynamism into the fabric of Turkey-China bilateral economic and trade relations by creating new avenues for partnerships. The project will undoubtedly serve as a unique opportunity to deepen mutual cooperation between Chinese and Turkish SMEs in the field of e-trade, promote alliance building for the e-Commerce industry, and strengthen e-trade and logistics infrastructure and industry communications.
As most readers know, at WSF, we attach great importance to the success of the China-Turkey E-commerce Pilot, which we think is very much in line with the Chinese G-20 Presidency priority on setting up cross-border e-commerce experimental zones with reference to international experience and best practices to promote global e-commerce.
SMEs account for 60 percent of the global workforce. They provide social stability, equitable growth and poverty alleviation and form the backbone of the working middle class in most countries. The SME sector is vital to the world economy and small business is the powerhouse of employment, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
It is a widely acknowledged fact that the platform-based e-commerce has had a strong positive impact on SMEs, both by opening up new export avenues and facilitating access to low-cost imported inputs.
Historically, commerce over distance has had significant costs associated with it, which has impeded the ability of most SMEs to participate directly in Global Value Chains. Online platforms for e-commerce, however, reduce the cost of doing business over distance and empower even very small firms to serve consumers across an unprecedented number of countries.
Improved Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and transport connectivity, better legal and regulatory frameworks and new innovative e-commerce and payment solutions are necessary to enable SMEs to exploit the opportunities offered by e-commerce.
In this respect, I strongly believe that the China-Turkey cross-border e-commerce pilot will help increase e-trade readiness and capacity of both Turkey and China, support environment for ITC-enabled cross border trade, and create a good case study that could be presented to the G-20.
Tunç Uyanık is the CEO of the World SME Forum. For more information: www.worldsmeforum.org