eWTP proposal draws attention after B20 summit

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 6, 2016
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Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma proposed the establishment of an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) at the Boao Forum for Asia in March 2016. [Xinhua]

The proposal to create an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) -- which was submitted by Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba and chairman of the B20 SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) Development Taskforce -- has drawn widespread public attention following the B20 summit, which was a part of the G20 summit held on Sept 4 and 5 in Hangzhou.

Initiated and strongly advocated by Ma, the eWTP aims at providing worldwide SMEs with a barrier-free online platform, helping them bypass complex regulations and protectionist trade policies and gain more benefits from global economic development.

"It's the perfect time to make the proposal," said He Jun, one of the drafters of the B20 2016 Policy Recommendations to the G20 and an associate researcher of the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

With global economic growth slowing down after 2008, trade barriers have been put up in some countries and made it difficult for SMEs to exploit market potentials.

"As an online platform for international trade, the eWTP will be more open and transparent, providing cross-border e-commerce with more efficient solutions and a better environment," he said.

His view was echoed by Zhao Yue, a researcher at the China Institute of Open Economy.

Zhao believed protectionism is gaining ground due to sluggish world trade growth.

The eWTP will inject more energy into SMEs, help remove trade barriers and restore normal international trade order, he said.

The proposal was also welcomed in business circles. "We hope the proposal on eWTP can come true," said Dr. Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Sunwah Group.

"The cross-border trade platform will make information more open and transparent and make resources effectively connected. It will be extremely helpful to SMEs in developing countries," he said.

The eWTP is the brainchild of China's e-commerce guru Jack Ma, who urged governments worldwide to provide preferential policies to SMEs in the e-commerce field, including 24-hour custom service and tax incentives. Ma advocated the idea at the Boao Forum in March and proposed it to G20 member countries at the recently concluded Hangzhou G20 summit.

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