The delegation visited Nottingham University (Photo credit: ©ACOLINK ©CIECC)
Business across the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse regions are looking for export opportunities in China as an e-commerce delegation from the Asian nation visits the UK.
For the second year, ACOLINK LTD hosted delegates of the China International Electronic Commerce Centre (CIECC) during their 4-day visit to Great Britain, from 16 - 19 October, 2018. This is their second stop after Dublin, Ireland.
The delegation, organised by CIECC and ACOLINK, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), focused heavily on creating a platform for UK businesses to be able to enter China’s ¥9 trillion yuan e-commerce market with knowledge, support and confidence.
The CIECC toured Leeds and Nottingham, entrepreneurial cities with strong ties to their sister cities: Hangzhou, home to e-commerce giant Alibaba, and Ningbo, respectively.
After this visit, UK businesses will also be able to drive e-commerce with increased avenues of opportunities between enterprises in sister cities.
ACOLINK, a Leeds business bridging and enabling trade opportunities between the UK and China, is the CIECC’s UK representative after signing a strategic partnership in 2017.
CIECC is a principal agency under China’s Ministry of Commerce. They are the policy-makers responsible for shaping and implementing the dynamics of the world’s biggest e-commerce market, China, at the state level.
Recognising an important opportunity to educate the market about China while driving UK e-commerce prosperity, ACOLINK and CIECC met with two potential pilot universities, Leeds University and Nottingham University, to present their exclusive business development tool.
Yi Mooc, their multi-lingual e-learning platform, consolidates short video lectures on aspects of how to enter and succeed in China e-commerce market. Already, it’s a significant resource integration unlike any other - developed from a thinktank of over 130 experts ranging from China research institutions and universities to key industry players like Alibaba and JD representatives.
Yi Mooc uses state-qualified, award-winning lecturers and the platform has a significant social following. CIECC’s annual lecturer awards pre-launch was viewed by 640,000 online viewers this year.
China, through the CIECC, is enabling businesses and students — the future leaders — to consider, approach, and succeed in China’s booming e-commerce market. The UK and Ireland are at the top of their agenda for the roll-out of what will be an international venture.
It’s another firm step in the Golden Era 2.0 between the two countries and a significant follow-up to the UK’s recently announced new export strategy. This gives UK businesses and the next generation of leaders a competitive advantage in e-commerce. Business leaders and specialists, supporting businesses in new market endeavours, see the potential in educating the domestic market.
“Knowledge of China’s e-commerce market across SMEs is probably quite low. Which means that they’re not taking advantage of opportunities,” says Jason Feehily, Director Knowledge Exchange Asia at Nottingham University says. “There is a knowledge gap. China is identified as one of the UK’s important bilateral trading relations, streamlining that relationship for goods is absolutely key post-Brexit.”
This year’s delegation builds on the CIECC’s last trip to the UK, where they began extensive government-to-government talks on international e-government initiatives.
DIT Regional Director for Yorkshire & Humber, Mark Robson, says, “UK has the best e-commerce and 30% of the shopping during Christmas and New Year was online sales.
"Exporting through e-commerce is our strategy to help more UK exporters to grasp wider market like China. It would be great to see how we can use this to help more of our UK businesses.”
ACOLINK’s mission is to drive UK businesses’ trade prosperity through e-commerce.
CEO Anita Zhang says, “That’s why we are here. Our mission is to help more UK businesses export and trade with China, to access the market easier.
"We are here to bring the China opportunities closer to local businesses. That’s why we are very proud to team up with government agencies and like-minded partners to stay at the forefront and advise UK businesses.”
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