Jiaozhou hub port
To further strengthen the demonstration area's function as a logistics hub for SCO countries, Qingdao's Jiaozhou — where SCODA is located — is building an international hub port that integrates railways, seaports, airports and land ports.
In December 2022, Jiaozhou was granted the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations — commonly known as the UN/LOCODE — by the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. This means the international hub port has officially become a port of departure/destination for international transportation.
"Previously, without the code, Customs clearance of goods was slow, and booking shipping space was inconvenient," said Sang Shibiao, an official for logistics service promotion in Jiaozhou. "Now, with the help of the code, there is more support in terms of Customs policy, shipping company departure policy and so on. It can save two or three days' time for enterprises in the above links alone."
The improved logistics services, trade facilitation policies and measures have been welcomed by international partners.
Aleksey Teksler, governor of Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia, said: "We are an industrial area with very convenient logistics, and SCODA is also a logistics hub, so we can actively engage in exchanges. Through working with the demonstration area, I see regional cooperation, logistics collaboration and, ultimately, shared economic growth as the most valuable aspects."
The demonstration area has developed a China-SCO Comprehensive Service Platform for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation — or the SCOCSP — to provide one-stop solutions for economic and trade cooperation between enterprises in China and other SCO countries, as well as a full-cycle comprehensive service system for trade enterprises.
In November last year, the first batch of 3,000 metric tons of Afghan pine nuts completed Customs clearance, commodity inspection, transportation, insurance and other businesses on the platform, and it took only 15 days to arrive at the Chinese warehouse, significantly lowering the time taken previously.
"It can be understood as an online version of a 'super home port', so that enterprises no longer need to 'feel the stones to cross the river' when confused by laws and trade rules of different countries," said Zhang Dong, deputy director of the administrative committee of SCODA. "The platform is a full-cycle, full-factor, full-industrial chain service platform integrating trade, Customs clearance, logistics and finance, and is also a China International Trade Single Window."
More than 5,000 companies have so far registered on the platform, with 539 certified suppliers and 136 certified purchasers.
Qingdao-based electric power equipment manufacturer Tgood gets more than 30 percent of its overseas business from Russia and Central Asian countries, and the sector is growing fast. Thanks to high-quality products, advanced technologies, good service and innovative business models, the market potential is huge, said the company's Chairman Yu Dexiang.
"We can judge the market situation accurately because we have registered on the SCOCSP, so we can communicate with our overseas clients directly," he said. "In the past, these information channels were in the hands of only a few large enterprises, and Tgood could only be a follower."
In addition to breaking down information barriers, the platform can also provide full-chain services to help more enterprises explore the international market independently, he added.
Fakhriddin Boboev, chairman of Uzbekistan's leather industry association Uzcharmsanoat, said SCODA can solve problems in trade, logistics and finance in one go, thanks to the SCOCSP, which allows more efficient economic and trade cooperation.
He said in the future, both sides will cooperate closely on the platform, which will enhance economic and trade development of the two countries.
There are other trade-facilitating mechanisms in SCODA, such as the Qingdao International Energy Exchange.
As an online trading platform, the center focuses on three main services — energy trading, supply chain finance and digital services. It has also launched trading in six products — crude oil, crude oil tank capacity, natural gas, fuel, liquefied petroleum gas and petroleum coke.