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More talks, participation key to digital economy

China will actively participate in digital economy-related negotiations with international organizations to improve the multilateral governance system and mechanism in this area, said a senior government official.

Li Fei, assistant minister at the Ministry of Commerce, said China will further align itself with high-standard international economic and trade rules, and actively endeavor to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

The official made the remarks at a sub-forum of the fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum during the ongoing fifth China International Import Expo, which wraps up in Shanghai on Thursday. The sub-forum was hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Zhejiang's provincial government.

The digital economy mainly entails business resulting from the digital transformation of traditional economic activities powered by the internet, electronic means and data, according to information released by the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the ministry's think tank.

China will promote digital economy-related international cooperation, participate in activities under the World Trade Organization's e-commerce platform, safeguard and improve the multilateral management system of the digital economy, as well as make full use of the cooperation mechanism of G20, BRICS (grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and other multilateral institutions to contribute to the world's digital economy and trade development, Li said.

With the rapid development of emerging digital technologies, the digital economy has become a dynamic and influential industrial sector with rapid growth in China. The scope and scale of the digital economy have also been extended significantly, covering abundant products, services, business modes and industries, said Gao Peiyong, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

For example, the proportion of the digital economy in the GDP of Zhejiang province amounted to 48.6 percent in 2021, ranking first among all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China, according to information released during the sub-forum.

Digital trade has acted as a great stabilizer and engine of global trade. Its development will not only benefit China's vast consumer market but also bring growth points to small and medium-sized enterprises in both domestic and global markets. It has helped them sell their products on a level playing field, lower costs and reduce middlemen, said Zhang Yong, CEO of Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group.

Dong Yan, director of trade department of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China's efforts to join high-level international economic and trade pacts will facilitate its companies to better manage cross-border flows of digital data and tap growth opportunities.

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