Guangzhou's foreign trade in the first half (H1) of 2015 reached 391.72 billion Yuan, up 8.7% (8.8%, in USD) year on year, while China and Guangdong foreign trade suffered 6.9% and 1.8% decreases respectively. Generally speaking, Guangzhou performed well in foreign trade in H1.
It is worth discussing why Guangzhou could gain such a foreign trade expansion. According to Xiao Zhenyu, the general director of Guangzhou Commission of Commerce, "The reason we (Guangzhou) could have increase of foreign trade is our increased export." The statistic shows that Guangzhou's H1 export was 234.51 billion Yuan, up 29.8%, 28.9% and 25.9%more than that of China (0.9%) and Guangdong (3.9%) at the same period.
Besides, Guangzhou adopted new measures by using new business types to encourage enterprises to export small commodities, added Xiao.
Xiao also made a prediction aboutGuangzhou's foreign trade tendency in second half of 2015. He thinks the problem encounter (in H2) will be the same as H1.It means the foreign trade will be challenged by multi-pressure from domestic and aboard, such as the unstable economy situation, the increasing price of labor force and raw materials, as well as the raise of RMB exchange rate to USD.
In order to maintain a stable foreign trade expansion in H2, Guangzhou will find some new ways to deal with these problems.
According to Xiao, enterprises will be encouraged to go aboard for attending the exhibitions and they are ought to promote their products for international buyers. Besides, there are many holidays such as Christmas and New Year in H2, which provide good chances for product promotion.
Nansha FTZ propels Guangzhou to further opening up
Currently, Guangdong Free Trade Zone (GDFTZ) is a very hot issue while many people actually do not know the meaning ofFTZ.AsXiao’s understanding, there are four key points help to illustrate the importance of FTZ as follow.
1. To adopt the policies of national treatment.
Foreign businessmen and companies are equally treated withnational citizens. It means foreign investors will receive equal treatment as domestic enterprises.
2. Facilitation of the investment and trade.
Both domestic and foreign companies set up in FTZ can benefit from lots of highly-efficient policies such as the negative list management mode.
3. Finance reform.
If enterprises to set up in FTZ, they can adopt a lot of finance policies given by central government for operating finance business. For example, the capital can free flow in FTZ andit is easier to get a lot of loans from Hong Kong, Macao and aboard.
4. Pushing government office to reform.
The establish of FTZ is to better serve for the businessmen, companies and investors in FTZ. Hence, government departments are changing their ways.
“We must learn from developed countries and regions to know what they do, what they have done. It is necessary to follow the steps as same as Hong Kong, Singapore, then we can adopt their measures,” added Xiao.
FTZ provides the most convenient way to do business, summarized Xiao.
As forNansha FTZ of Guangzhou, it has the distinctive geographical advantages help to create a new Guangzhou with high expectations by Xiao.
Above all, Guangzhou is the south gate of China. Besides, it is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao. Moreover, it is the nearest place of mainland China to link southeast Asia. Apart from the above strengths, there have relations with many overseas Chinese.“So we can use this FTZ to do some business, to create a new Guangzhou,” said Xiao.
Xiao said “In recent years, the greatest event of opening up to the outside in Guangzhou is the FTZ.” It will not merely promote the cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, but can develop into an international platform to communicate with southeast Asian countries,even connect with USA and European countries under the “One Belt One Road” initiative.
Cross-border e-commerce shines in Guangzhou
With the development of technology, especially the development of computer science and Internet, people’s purchasing habit is changing. More people would like to purchase something from domestic and aboard through Internet. Here comes a new and hot business type called cross-border e-commerce.
In H1, Guangzhou’s total trade volume of cross-border e-commerce reached 2.85 billion Yuan, more than double of last year (1.31 billion Yuan). It helps Guangzhou to rank the first among all the six pilot cities for developing cross-border e-commerce in China. Besides, nearly 200 e-commerce enterprises have registered in Nansha FTZ.
According to Xiao, Guangzhou is the first city to gather so many e-commerce companies locate in the same area - Pazhou E-commerce Cluster, an ideal place to support e-commerce companies to grow in Guangzhou.
The Pazhou area has gathered many top 10 e-commerce companies in China like Alibaba, Jindong, Guomei and VIPshop have decided to set up their headquarters there. “This is not only for a group of e-commerce, it is a concept of cluster,” said Xiao.
Those companies integrate traditional business modes and cross-border E-commerce to reduce intermediate processes and to expand overseas marketing channels, finally realize “optimizing import and export”. Accordingly, people can buy the foreign products with much lower price and higher quality from the cross-border e-commerce platform.
Also, Guangzhou is glad to see more well-developed international e-commerce companies like Amazon to gather in Pazhou.
In order to meet the developing demand of cross-border e-commerce, Guangzhou is to build up a logistics center as well.
It is said that Guangzhou will improve the current storage and logistics system. Storage and logistics center for cross-border e-commerce will be set up in some areas like bonded area under supervision, qualified cross-border e-commerce parks. Hence, registered e-commerce enterprises in those areas can enjoy the supporting services covering storage, distribution, sorting and processing, etc.
Canton Fair is still China’s first exhibition
To face the doubt about whether Canton Fair still have the same influence as before, in Xiao’s opinion, “Canton Fair is still China’s first exhibition.”
Canton Fair is a very famous brand not only for Guangzhou or Guangdong but also for China, because it is a great platform for the import and export commodities and affects lots of businessmen around the world. Until now, the exhibition of Canton Fair cannot be replaced by any other exhibitions, it is still called as the China's first exhibition, emphasized Xiao.
Compared with some “Internet-lead” foreign trade modes like e-commerce, Canton Fair has its importance that can not be replaced. For instance, in Canton Fair, buyers can see, touch the commodities and argue the price with the sellers. Hence, theymight have confidence on the products they purchase in Canton Fair.
Next, Guangzhouwill further improve the service of Canton Fair,including to reform the types of exhibition, to set up more import booths for attracting imported products that can bepresented to Chinese businessmen.
In short, Canton Fair is still an essential trade platform for improving the cooperation, exchanging the products and promoting the volume of import and export.
（By Will, newsgd.com)
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