E-commerce provides opportunities for small and medium American enterprises to tap into the Chinese market, said trade experts.
They made their comments Monday online at a session on new channels of cross-border collaboration. The program was hosted by the Oregon China Council and supported by government agencies from Fujian and Oregon. Fujian and Oregon became sister states in 1984. The two sides complement each other in various areas, officials said.
"As we all know, Oregon has prominent advantages in outdoor equipment, sportswear, agriculture and food processing industries. In recent years, the Chinese market has seen a significant rise in outdoor sports and a rapid increase in consumers' extra attention for food quality," said Wang Deyang, deputy director-general of the trade development bureau of China's commerce ministry.
The "perfect match" between Oregon and Fujian on supply and demand generates great market potential for "outdoor economy" and "dinner table upgrading", Wang said.
"Meanwhile, the recent emerging of global cross-border e-commerce, with China as one of the main drivers, has added momentum to the growth of those industries," he said.
Wang stressed that business cooperation plays a vital role in deepening Sino-US economic and trade relations. He noted that the Chinese e-commerce market is developing vigorously, and encouraged more American companies to go to China to "share the development opportunities together".
Jess Paulson, director of market access and certification programs at Oregon's agriculture department described the state as having a diverse agricultural landscape.
"It is the source of strength for Oregon agriculture. It's unfortunately also the greatest weakness of Oregon agriculture. We have many products, but often not so much volume for any of them, except a handful of the biggest products," Paulson explained.
As a result, finding the appropriate marketing channel for exports, especially the high-quality smaller products, and connecting the producers with the right consumers, has been one of greatest challenges the state faces, he said.
"E-commerce has been a growing interest to Oregon food and beverage producers, and I'm very much hoping that this opportunity will be something that's very helpful for our exporters," he said.
Sharon Kim, global trade specialist of Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, noted that international trade has long been a cornerstone of Oregon's economy.
"China has become Oregon's largest trade partner, with exports from Oregon to China totaling over $10 billion last year, so we at Business Oregon looks forward to strengthening a positive and mutually beneficial economic relationship with Fujian sister state, through the e-commerce, and outdoor and consumer products," she said.
The conference introduced audiences to Hanlink Cross-border, a cross-border e-commerce platform for emerging brands based in Xiamen, Fujian. The company has 20 years' experience in international logistics, said Chen Yitong, president of Hanlian Group, the parent company of Hanlink Cross-border.
René Teunissen, who started his own company, FAREA, in Xiamen in 2018, said there are a lot of opportunities for small and medium-size brands in the Chinese market.
"I believe personally at this moment, that especially the smaller-brand, middle-size brands have large opportunities in China, because there are already many products, but now the challenge is to find products that add something to the Chinese market," said Teunissen, whose company aims to make it easier for European companies to bring their products to China.