E-commerce to spur African products

Photo taken on March 15, 2022 shows a boat docking at Kribi Deep Seaport, Kribi, Cameroon. [Photo/Xinhua]

Many high-quality African products will become available to Chinese consumers during an online shopping festival that will kick off on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

The event, which will be hosted on prominent e-commerce platforms, ends on May 12. It shows that China is delivering on its commitment to expand economic, trade and digital cooperation with Africa, officials said.

Briefing media persons online, Qian Fangli, director-general of the department of electronic commerce and informatization at the MOC, said more than 300 e-commerce platforms will take part in the shopping festival, potentially connecting more than 100,000 brands and 1 million e- shops with hundreds of millions of consumers.

Hunan, Zhejiang, Hubei and Henan provinces are among the provinces that will hold livestreaming events featuring participants ranging from ambassadors to African anchors, to sell signature products from more than 23 African countries.

Ethiopia’s coffee, Rwanda’s chili paste and Kenya’s black tea will figure among the popular African offerings.

Zhou Ping, deputy director-general of the Department of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the online shopping festival will have great value as China and Africa will deepen cooperation on digital innovation this year, to upgrade China-Africa cooperation with a touch of digital power and help Africa to deal with the digital gap.

“China always keeps its promises, and tries its best to deliver on its commitments to African friends, which is the most important feature of China-Africa cooperation,” Zhou said.

Apart from the online shopping festival, important trade promotion measures like market entry for African agricultural products and expanding zero-tariff treatment to African products have already been implemented.

China’s successful experiences in the digital sector are helpful to Africa as the continent has a need for rapid development of e-commerce, and the two sides have already achieved progress in cooperation on 5G, “new infrastructure” and e-commerce. So, the online shopping festival will include events like livestreaming from production sites in Africa for Chinese customers, he said.

Bian Zuodong, deputy director of the State Post Bureau’s market regulation department, said the authorities have taken new actions recently to ensure stable operations of the delivery network to better meet demand for foreign products among online shoppers.

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