E-Commerce a Growing Engine of Economy

China will work to implement a paperless trading system and help foreign trade companies use electronic business methods, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) Shi Guangsheng vowed Friday.

Shi said he expected more than 70 percent of Chinese foreign trade companies will be able to conduct import and export business via electronic means by 2005.

Shi spoke at the opening ceremony of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Symposium on Electronic Commerce and Paperless Trading.

The symposium, sponsored by MOFTEC and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is the first of a series of APEC activities to be hosted by China this year.

More than 260 government officials, entrepreneurs and academicians from 20 APEC member countries participated in the symposium.

Shi said China recognizes the importance of information technology and its applications and is actively promoting the healthy development of electronic business.

Information technology and e-commerce are key topics slated for discussion at the APEC meeting in Shanghai in October.

In a separate meeting Friday, C. Lawrence Greenwood, Jr, the US senior official for APEC, said information technology and e-commerce constitute a major feature of the new economy, which fuels the rapid development of the Asia-Pacific region.

The United States wished to share experiences it has in these fields with APEC members in its series of meetings, said Greenwood, who came to Beijing for an APEC leaders' meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

MOFTEC officials said China has set up a framework for the high-tech conversion of foreign trade.

The MOFTEC has already worked out the coding standard for import and export companies as well as an identification system, officials said.

Now the ministry is planning to promote its international electronic business in China, they said.

Greenwood said the US will help APEC members train people.

Minister of Information Industry Wu Jichuan said China's information technology and telecommunications infrastructure is rapidly increasing, removing barriers to the healthy development of electronic business.

In the past five years, China has invested 800 billion yuan (US$96.6 billion) in its telecommunications infrastructure, Wu said.

China now has the world's second largest telecommunications network and ranks second in terms of the number of phone users.

Official Chinese statistics indicate 8.9 million personal computers have Internet access and about 22.5 million users surf the Web by the end of 2000.

(China Daily 02/10/2001)

In This Series

Information Industrial Output to Be Quadrupled

APEC E-Commerce Symposium to Be Held in Beijing

China Encourages Enterprises to Do E-commerce

China to Ensure Success to APEC Forum



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