26.11.2019 - The UPU Global Conference on Cross-Border Cooperation in an E-Commerce World opened on 26 November 2019 in Xiamen, People’s Republic of China.
This is the first conference jointly organized by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and China on the theme of global cooperation on cross-border e-commerce. The conference is a high-level global event hosted by the UPU and jointly organized by the State Post Bureau of China, China Post Group and Xiamen Municipal People’s Government.
Mr. Bishar Hussein, Director General of the International Bureau of the UPU, Mr. Ma Junsheng, Director General of the State Post Bureau, Mr. Li Guo, Deputy Customs Commissioner-General of General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), Mr. Zhang Zhinan, Vice Governor of Fujian Provincial People’s Government, and Mr. Liu Aili, Chairman of China Post Group, opened the conference. Mr. Pascal Clivaz, Deputy Director General of the International Bureau of the UPU, Mr. Li Huiyue, Vice Mayor of Xiamen Municipal People’s Government, and other distinguished guests attended the opening ceremony. Mr. Zhao Min, Deputy Director General of the State Post Bureau of China moderated the opening ceremony.
In recent years, the traditional engines driving the growth of international trade and cross-border investment are weakening while cross-border e-commerce, especially cross-border B2C, has maintained strong growth and has become a new engine for global economic growth.
The post is an important player, promoter and beneficiary of cross-border e-commerce. As the traditional letter business has been shrinking for more than a decade, designated operators in many countries have embarked on a transformation journey and started to diversify their business with parcels as the core.
Small packages and express delivery services for the international market have achieved remarkable headways and gone back onto the fast-growth track. This is mainly due to the development of cross-border e-commerce.
According to the research by relevant agencies, the posts delivered 71% of the global cross-border parcels in 2018. These cross-border parcels were mainly clothing, consumer electronics, healthcare and beauty products. Seventy-two per cent of the parcels were lighter than 1 kilogram, which is highly compatible with the strength of the posts in the delivery of high-value, lightweight and small packages.
Mr. Bishar Hussein said in his speech that cross-border trade lies at the heart of globalization and the work of ensuring efficient and effective global supply chains are critical for global trade. The global postal network facilitates global trade and ensures the fast and secure flow of billions of postal items.
This requires using new technologies throughout the supply chain, improving service quality and increasing the integration of railway freight transportation. He stressed that in order to be helpful, the UPU has identified four areas that needs to be addressed, namely:
- Encouraging governments to increase funding for their postal development;
- Urging regulators to unify tools so as to accept new services under new platforms;
- Urging postal operators to improve their performance and ensure that they are in a favorable position in the increasingly open market competition;
- Seeking to integrate all the players into the international postal sector.
This vision is expected to form the basis of the Abidjan Postal Strategy 2020 and will help postal operators and partners to make the transition to the e-commerce era and benefit from it.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Ma Junsheng pointed out that China is an important player in the delivery of global cross-border parcels, and the parcels from the Chinese market have now accounted for 38% of global cross-border parcel business.
The whole industry supports more-than-350-billion-yuan cross-border e-commerce transactions throughout the year. The postal industry of China has contributed “China’s wisdom and strength” to expanding international trade channels, optimizing the allocation of multilateral resources, and enhancing global economic connectivity.
In order to achieve a cross-border e-commerce service experience that is borderless, inclusive, personalized, timely, secure, reliable, and environmentally friendly, the postal department itself must do the following things:
- To accelerate the accumulation of air transportation resources, arrange overseas distribution networks and warehouses, and create an efficient and reliable supply chain system; at the data layer,
- To coordinate order flow directions and address the needs for varied time limits; at the level of services,
- To develop convenient and reliable return and replacement solutions and establish a localized customer service system.
It is also necessary for postal departments and international organizations responsible for customs, civil aviation, and railway to move a step further in the fields of establishing alliances, formulating rules, and developing business.
Through continuous strengthening of regulation and optimization of services, China Customs has effectively promoted the rapid development of retail imports and exports of cross-border e-commerce.
From January to October of this year, the total import and export value on the customs cross-border e-commerce management platform reached 139.62 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 25.5%.
Mr. Li Guo said in his opening statement that the postal delivery industry has become a major logistics mode for cross-border e-commerce goods based on its wide network coverage, low price and fast speed and has played an irreplaceable role in promoting the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce.
As an emerging industry, cross-border e-commerce will continue to maintain a booming trend, and the volume of inbound and outbound parcels will continue to increase. Li Guo pointed out that in order to seize opportunities and meet challenges, China Customs will continue to work together with State Post Bureau and China Post Group for a win-win outcome and fulfill the goal of promoting the IT-based, comprehensive, intensive, standardized and intelligent regulation of inbound and outbound postal items.
He also expressed the hope to further strengthen cooperation with the UPU and its member countries in multilateral data sharing and improving the quality of data exchange.
Fujian is at the forefront of China's reform and opening up and is one of the most competitive markets with the biggest growth potentials in China. In his introduction, Mr. Zhang Zhinan pointed out that in recent years, Fujian Province has successively introduced policies and measures to promote the coordinated development of e-commerce and express logistics, and accelerate the development of Silk Road e-commerce, which have effectively boosted the healthy and rapid development of cross-border e-commerce and postal services.
Xiamen City was approved to set up a national cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zone, which was among the first batch of cities to offer integrated customs clearance services for the export of postal items, commercial express delivery items and e-commerce items.
It was the first to launch “port clearance” and “bonded import” pilots in the “two-step customs declaration” reform, which has greatly improved the circulation speed and influence of cross-border e-commerce delivery services. He said that Fujian Province will continue to build a first-class, internationalized, and facilitated business environment based on the rule of law; improve the cross-border e-commerce regulation framework; build a high-quality and convenient cross-border delivery channel platform; improve the security and facilitation of the postal supply chain; and play a more active role in driving the development of the international postal industry.
Mr. Liu Aili pointed out that in recent years, thanks to the ever-deepening economic globalization, the steady growth of China's economy and the transformation and upgrading of the consumer market, China's cross-border e-commerce market has maintained rapid growth. The transaction value is expected to reach 11 trillion yuan in 2019 and China is expected to become the world's largest cross-border B2C consumer market.
In the era of e-commerce, the postal network based on the UPU framework is still the world's largest physical delivery network, and the main channel for the delivery of goods from cross-border e-commerce. He called on the posts to actively explore new ways and approaches of pragmatic cooperation, continuously seek for innovations in postal equipment, technologies, products, services, partnerships and other aspects, and push forward key cooperation projects such as new cross-border transportation products, mail transport via international railways, and overseas warehouse construction.
He further called on the posts to stay committed to maintaining the stability of the multilateral system, comprehensively deepen cross-border cooperation in the era of e-commerce, and promote the realization of win-win development of the posts.
The Universal Postal Union is an international intergovernmental organization that discusses and decides on global postal matters. In order to promote the cooperation between posts and customs and boost the development of the global postal services, the WCO-UPU Liaison Committee adopted a decision in October 2017 to hold a joint high-level global post-customs strategy conference with the goal to promote global cooperation between posts and customs at the national strategy and policy levels. It also sought to improve the efficiency, security and electronic data application capabilities in customs clearance for cross-border mails.
The conference has attracted a total of more than 360 representatives from postal departments and stakeholders of 102 countries and regions, and 8 international organizations including the UPU and the World Customs Organization. During the two-day conference, representatives from various countries will conduct in-depth discussions on topics closely related to cross-border e-commerce, including global supply chain regulation, trade and customs facilitation, mail transport via railways, digitization and security and share successful experiences in the cooperation between posts and customs.
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