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The CPC Central Committee recently published its Document No. 1 for 2023, calling for “faster development of modern rural services and all-round development of county-level commercial systems”. Could you please talk about the development of county-level commerce? What areas will MOFCOM focus on in the next step?(2023-02-23)

Strengthening county-level commercial systems is a key part of rural revitalization. It is an important step to increase both farmers' income and rural consumption. Working with related authorities, MOFCOM has intensified policy support and guidance for local governments. Some achievements have been made.

First, optimized commercial networks in counties, townships and villages. In 2022, 983 integrated county commercial service centers and township malls were built or upgraded. Thanks to renovation projects, many rural marketplaces and convenience supermarkets got better conditions and became more functional.

Second, an improved rural logistic delivery system. In 2022, 506 county delivery centers and 650 township delivery outlets were built or upgraded. With resource integration and common delivery, rural logistic cost was lowered, and delivery became more efficient.

Third, rural e-commerce innovations. Last year, rural online retail sales registered 2.17 trillion yuan, up by 3.6% year-on-year. By extending e-commerce services to rural areas, local authorities expanded sale of agricultural specialties and utilized new business models such as live commerce to create jobs and increase income for farmers.

Fourth, more efficient distribution of agricultural products. In 2022, 878 agricultural retail markets were upgraded, 12 public welfare Agricultural wholesale markets were built, and 960,000 tons of cold storage capacity were added. Online retail sales of agricultural products reached 531.38 billion yuan, up by 9.2% year-on-year. A multi-tiered distribution system for agriculture products, featuring backbone wholesale markets, retail markets and e-commerce, was improved.

In the next step, the Ministry of Commerce will conscientiously implement the guiding principles of the No.1 central document, strengthen policy coordination with relevant departments, and promote the development of county-level commercial systems for higher quality and efficiency. On the basis of preliminary work, we will implement the "Three-year Action Plan for County Commerce" and strive to establish a relatively complete commercial network at county, township and village levels in qualified areas by 2025. At the same time, we will set a group of examples for county businesses, transform and upgrade a number of markets in townships and villages and new convenience stores in rural areas, and build a number of demonstration counties in commerce to play a leading role. We will also vigorously develop new forms of businesses, such as live stream e-commerce and real-time retailing, promote the high-quality development of rural e-commerce, and bring more agricultural produce to cities to increase farmers' income. Thank you.