The Hinrich Foundation, in collaboration with Center for China and Globalization (CCG), launched a research report on digital trade in China, titled “The Digital Revolution: How China Can Capture the Digital Trade Opportunity at Home and Abroad, on March 21, 2019, in Beijing, China.

Hinrich Foundation China digital trade report launch in Beijing

The report sizes the value of the digital trade opportunity for exports and the domestic economy of a country, measures the opportunity cost of having a closed digital policy, identifies the risks of an open digital policy and ways to address them coupled with key policy actions for helping economies harness the benefits and manage potential risks.

The event started with introductory remarks from Wang Huiyao, President of CCG. He emphasised on the growth of digital trade in China and the government’s initiatives to boost virtual transactions.

Following Wang’s opening remarks, Hinrich Foundation’s Director of Marketing and Communication, Berenice Voets, delivered the keynote speech to around 50 participants. She briefed them on HInrich Foundation’s mission and vision to promoting sustainable trade in the world.

She also touched upon the key findings from report in her speech. “China has set an important goal, re-emphasized recently by Premier Li, to evolve its economy towards a higher-end, technology-focused economy, promoting the growth of the services sector and of high-end manufacturing,” she said.

“The policy brief suggests that evolving regulations pertaining to data storage and cross border data flows is essential for achieving that goal. The liberalization of cross border data flows will send an even stronger signal that China is promoting trade and investment liberalization (in line with foreign investment law).”

Voets speech was followed by AlphaBeta’s presentation of the report. The report’s finding was presented by Konstantin Matthies, Engagement Manager of AlphaBeta.

According to the report, digital exports are already the 2nd largest export sector in China. However, more open and transparent regulations regarding data storage, protection and transfer could increase the contribution of digital export further by 207% by 2030.

Later, a lively Q&A session was organised where participants put forward questions on the digital trade sector and the Chinese government’s policies.

The participants included officials from MOFCOM. China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC), JD Group,, Alibaba Group, Central University of Finance and Economics, China Electronics Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of International Business and Economics.

The event concluded with a round table discussion.

The Hinrich Foundation considers open digital trade to be a growth opportunity for countries as well as an enabler of major productivity improvements for sectors beyond the digital sector.

Together with local business community groups, the Foundation commissioned AlphaBeta to size the value of the digital trade opportunity (both for exports and the domestic economy) and to assess risks for eight economies in the Asia-Pacific – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.

For more information on digital trade reports, please click here.

About the author- Pragya Bhatnagar

Hinrich Foundation launches Indonesia Digital Trade Report in Jakarta 2Pragya Bhatnagar is a Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where he focuses on International Trade Research. He is a Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholar alumnus, earning his Master’s degree in International Journalism, specializing in Business and Financial Journalism, from Hong Kong Baptist University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lucknow University, India.