HANGZHOU, China, July 7, 2017 (Antara/Xinhua-AsiaNet) —
On June 16, UCLG Asia Pacific Region “The Belt and Road” Local Cooperation Professional Committee (BRLC) was officially headquartered by the West Lake and became a permanent “resident” of Hangzhou, the host city of 2016 G20 Summit in East China, which is aiming to build itself into a strategic hub of “Online Silk Road.”
“The Belt and Road is one of the most important initiatives I’ve ever seen in my life,” Jenny Shipley, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and board member of International Finance Forum, said at 2017 Silk Road International Association Inaugural Meeting on June 17.
Zhao Yide, secretary of Hangzhou municipal committee of the CPC, said that Hangzhou will continue the construction of a comprehensive experimental zone of cross-border e-commerce, and speed up the construction of an innovation, service and big data center with international competitiveness for cross-border e-commerce, so as to create the best business environment for e-commerce and build Hangzhou into a strategic hub of “Online Silk Road.”
Obviously, Hangzhou has been standing on the starting point of a new journey, like the land and maritime Silk Roads opening the exploration of the West thousands of years ago. In the first quarter of this year, Hangzhou recorded a 1.82 billion U.S. dollars turnover of cross-border e-commerce, including an export of 1.35 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 21.78 percent year on year. A total of 106 e-commerce companies moved to the experimental zone during the same period, serving as an important driver of foreign trade for Hangzhou.
As a matter of fact, Hangzhou has now become one of the Chinese cities with the most dynamic new economy, and the city is tasked with several pilot reform programs, such as the National Independent Innovative Demonstration Zone and the newly-approved Hangzhou Airport Economic Demonstration Zone. The data show that after the G20 Summit, Hangzhou’s international influence reached a new level.
In addition to national reform plans, some initiatives from civil society are also resonating internationally. During the G20 Summit last year, Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, for the first time put forward the concept of “eWTP” (Electronic World Trade Platform), which was written into the G20 Leaders’ Communique Hangzhou Summit.
This idea quickly became a reality. In March this year, Alibaba Group and the Malaysian government jointly announced an important cooperation deal to build the first eWTP “digital center” outside China to help young people and small businesses in Malaysia and the whole region of Southeast Asia to participate in global trade.
“We can (use Alibaba to) sell Malaysian quality products to foreign countries and introduce high quality imports for Malaysians,” said Huang Wanbing, chief operating officer of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
Meanwhile, made-in-China products with Hangzhou logo advance to the world. In Frankfurt, Germany, there is a street named after a Chinese company Chint. Only Siemens, Bosch etc. have been given the same honor in Germany. Two years ago, Chint Group, through capital operation and assets restructuring, transformed a component factory of the German well-known photovoltaic enterprise Conergy into the largest local PV module business, creating more than 200 jobs.
Data show that at present there are 93 overseas investment projects in Belt and Road countries coming from Hangzhou. For those projects, the Chinese side pledged 3.563 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 37.86 percent of the agreed amount of Hangzhou’s total foreign investment.
SOURCE: Hangzhou Municipal Committee of the CPC
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