• Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma and actor Daniel Craig attend the gala of Tmall shopping festival in Beijing last year.

Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma and actor Daniel Craig attend the gala of Tmall shopping festival in Beijing last year. (Photo : Getty Images)

China and Europe may make possible the creation of an electronic world trade platform (eWTP) which is expected to boost international e-commerce, Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, wrote in an article published in euractiv.com.

Like Us on Facebook

ChinaEU is an organization that seeks to strengthen trade relations between China and Belgium.

Gambardella said that the plan may soon materialize as AliExpress, Alibaba's global marketplace, is urging EU to re-evaluate geoblocking, which is currently being used by EU's e-commerce sector, where consumers can be "forced" to shop on the national websites, by redirecting them to the sites based on their IP address.

In addition, consumers face other problems which include restrictions on online payment, price differences in delivery fees, and complicated return policies, among others. In contrast, Chinese consumers may also face similar problems when buying products overseas, Gambardella said.

Hence, Jack Ma proposed the creation of the electronic world trade platform at the B20 and G20 meetings in Hangzhou, according to Gambardella.

Through eWTP, consumers will have better access to goods via a transparent and fair platform, which will also include SMEs. The platform would allow online transactions to flow freely and enable people to trade with anyone from across the world.

To ensure success, the platform must develop a set of rules and strategy taken from experienced players in the industry, the article said.

Gambardella said that the EU Digital Single Market Strategy can offer many things, adding that the current online barriers not only deny goods and services European citizens but also restrict the visions of Internet companies and startups. Hence, the European Commission introduced the Strategy to tear down these regulatory barriers and merge the 28 national markets into a single one.

It is expected that about €415 billion per year will be added to the European economy and more new jobs will be created once the platform succeeds.

Gambardella said that the ChinaEU business organization has identified three courses of action that will be favorable to cross-border e-commerce. These include ending online discrimination based on nationality or place of residence, prohibit e-commerce sites from re-routing consumers to country websites, or asking for payment using debit or credit card from a certain country, and making the cross-border delivery of parcels more efficient and cheaper.

He said that the ultimate goal of "e-commerce without borders" is to give consumers freedom to shop online without restrictions.

Gambardella said that China may get some insights from the Digital Single Market to enhance its cross-border e-commerce policy and to implement the eWTP proposal. He added that if EU succeeds in merging the 28 markets, it will give China a huge online market with only one set of rules to follow.