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A Pakistani merchant carries out a transaction in Yiwu at Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank. CHINA DAILY
With the increasing demands for global retail, Yiwu is rapidly developing its cross-border e-commerce utilizing both fintech and the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
In 2020, Yiwu's cross-border e-commerce transaction volume was 87.09 billion yuan ($13.48 billion), an increase of 15.5 percent year-on-year, according to the city government.
As a global commodities trading center and the world's largest small commodities market, Yiwu's efficiently managed and traceable purchasing trading mode helps promote local export trade and creates a new way for the country's wholesale markets to expand overseas.
In 2019, the city ranked No 2 in terms of density of online foreign traders in China. To support traders, local financial institutes have developed innovative products and financial services.
One such example is Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank, which in 2020 was the first locally incorporated bank in China certified for host-to-host payments for cross-border e-commerce. Host-to-host payments are an automated solution for secure electronic data transfer between banks and their corporate clients.
Using this solution, the bank handled a total of 28,225 cross-border e-commerce transactions totaling $34.35 million by the end of December.
To increase trade and in response to the demand for new business development, the Yiwu government has mobilized relevant parties to develop a comprehensive cross-border e-commerce service platform.
All transactions on the platform are facilitated by Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank.
So far, the platform has offered channels to cross-border e-commerce providers such as Amazon, eBay, Joom, AliExpress, Wish and Lazada.
Applicants for settlements and exchange can complete deals by uploading the sales records to the platform, according to the bank.
By the end of 2020, the bank had registered 298 e-commerce merchants and put their records on the platform. So far, 70 of them have conducted settlements and exchange online worth a total of $18.34 million.
The launch of the comprehensive platform is of great significance. It is helping Yiwu to build an improved industrial cluster and ecological system, and provides strong support for deepening the construction of the Yiwu section of Zhejiang FTZ, local officials said.
Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank has also cooperated with e-commerce giant Alibaba to launch a digital integrated payment system for foreign trade under the framework of the Electronic World Trade Platform, combining market purchasing with online trade.
It aims to help the development of microbusinesses and promote inclusive trade and the digital economy around the world, local officials said.