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Not long ago, the State Council approved the establishment of integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce in 33 cities and prefectures, increasing the number of the pilot zones to 165. Could you brief us on the development of the zones? What role have they played in developing cross-border e-commerce?(2023-02-23)

Developing integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce is a major decision made by the Central Party leadership and the State Council to give full play to the positive role of cross-border e-commerce in transforming and upgrading traditional sectors and promoting digitization. To support the healthy, sustained, innovative development of cross-border e-commerce, the State Council has set up 165 integrated pilot zones through seven approvals, covering 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, breaking new ground in opening China further through links running eastward and westward, across land and over sea.

In recent years, as innovative hubs for the development of cross-border e-commerce, integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce has effectively maintained the scale of foreign trade and improved its mix, and vigorously promoted the development of new business forms. Generally, the pilot zones have three features. First, they account for a large proportion. According to customs data, the imports and exports of cross-border e-commerce in China reached RMB2.11 trillion in 2022, up 9.8%. Among them, the imports and exports contributed by comprehensive pilot areas accounted for more than 90%. Second, the quality of entities in the areas is continuously improved. At present, there are about 200,000 enterprises related to cross-border e-commerce in each comprehensive pilot area, and over 9,300 of them are recognized as high-tech enterprises. Third, the industrial supporting facilities are increasingly complete. In the pilot areas, industrial parks for cross-border e-commerce have been built actively, supporting facilities have been enriched and a number of professional service providers in payment, logistics and marketing have emerged.

Going forward, MOFCOM will continue to advance the development of comprehensive pilot areas in a solid manner, with its focus on four aspects. First, a batch of outstanding pilot projects will be developed. We will guide comprehensive pilot areas to actively charter new courses and develop in differentiated ways based on local industrial advantages. The second is to cultivate a number of key enterprises. More efforts will be made to cultivate large and specialized cross-border e-commerce enterprises to enhance their comprehensive competitiveness. Third, experiences and practices will be popularized. We will select excellent cases, gather mature experiences and practices, and apply them across the country. Fourth, international cooperation on cross-border e-commerce will be strengthened. We will support entities to explore overseas markets and enhance their coordination and exchanges with other countries in making rules and setting standards. Thank you.