BRICS ties offer youth brighter business prospects

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Zhang Xiaoyan, vice CEO of e-commerce platform Umka, saw her company's trade volume in Russia increase five times from September to June.

Umka brings Chinese products to Russia and Russian speaking countries. It was set up by Wangji Group, a Chinese company based in Xiamen, China's Fujian province.

In four years, Wangji Group built a more than 20,000 square meters warehouse in Moscow, shortening the time for Chinese goods to reach Russian customers from more than one month to less than a week.

Xiamen hosted the BRICS summit in September, featuring cooperation between the world's major emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Statistics released by Xiamen Customs show, in the first four months of 2018, trade volume between Fujian and the four other BRICS countries reached about $4.3 billion, up 14.1 percent year-on-year.

"After the BRICS Summit, we reaffirmed our decision to develop the Russian e-commerce market," Zhang said. "We plan to bring 3,000 to 5,000 premium Chinese brands to Russia and Russian-speaking countries via e-commerce in three years."

Youth from BRICS countries said they are increasingly optimistic about the prospects of the cooperation and are seeking business opportunities.

Marcelo Gomes, a 27-year-old Brazilian, was sent to Xiamen last September by his company Stella, a leading Brazilian LED distributor.

Gomes, who is responsible for R&D and quality control in the company, said suppliers in Xiamen offer very competitive products which are popular among Brazilian consumers. In the past few months, he has purchased LED products worth about $5 million.

In his opinion, the BRICS Xiamen summit worked to deepen the partnership between BRICS countries, especially regarding economic and trade cooperation.

"China is the largest trading partner of Brazil. Both economies are highly complementary," Gomes said. "I am confident about our cooperation. I hope there can be more cooperation programs which can bring benefits to both countries."

Niren Anand, from Darbhanga city of Bihar Province, India, established Xiamen Ever Trade Import and Export Co Ltd in 2011, focusing on designing, manufacturing and exporting shoes.

Anand joined a business forum held during the BRICS Xiamen summit. "The way all five countries supported multilateral cooperation gave us more optimism and confidence."

Anand's business is growing bigger and bigger. Other than the office, he has more than 20 designers, 200 workers, and a development center.

"The BRICS summit made Xiamen well-known. I have many new customers from all over the world, and from India as well," Anand said. "Many of our shoes are sold to India and the European market."

In 2017, Anand's company made around $5 million. He is scheduled to fly to Las Vegas next month to join a fair to explore the US market.

Anand said he is closely watching the coming BRICS summit in South Africa.

"With global economic growth slowing down and rising protectionism, the cooperation between BRICS countries is not only good for the countries but also for the global economy," Anand said.

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