Ministry of Trade asks China for import help

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Ministry of Trade asks China for import help


Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyung-hwan visits G-Market’s logistics center in Incheon on Thursday, to hear about the hardships e-commerce companies face and discuss ways to boost sales. [MINISTRY OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND ENERGY]

Seoul will ask Beijing to ease its rules on Korean import goods, and make e-commerce transactions cheaper and faster in pursuit of boosting exports, the trade ministry said.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyung-hwan said the government will initiate a ministerial meeting with China as soon as possible to discuss ways of making things easier for Korean e-commerce companies, at a visit to a logistics center of online-shopping website Gmarket in Incheon on Thursday.

“Korean exports tumbled last year largely due to global economic downturn, but this year also seem to be another tough year due to external economic conditions,” Joo said at a roundtable meeting with the CEOs of 11st and Interpark, two other e-commerce giants, after visiting the logistics center.

“We should tackle the situation by promoting new ways of trade by attracting foreigners’ direct purchases on Korean stores online.”

The Trade Ministry will request its Chinese counterparts to ease requirements for foreign companies who want to open a corporate body in China, as well as on the sanitary requirements and screening processes for import products.

The ministry will also request for maritime shipping of cosmetics, which many trade analysts have named Korea’s fastest growing export product.

Korea and China launched a maritime shipping system last August for most products traded on e-commerce websites, in order to promote online trade. But cosmetics, liquor, tobacco, precious metals like gold and silver and dried fish were excluded from this list, and are still required to be shipped by plane. Maritime shipping is known to cost about 40 percent less and is usually much quicker because of shorter administrative processes at Chinese customs offices.

During the meeting, e-commerce CEOs also requested help in translating product information and expanding Korea Post’s overseas shipping services in order to boost shipment volume to China.

Joo said the ministry has started developing a translation platform to reduce costs for small-scale online shopping platforms, and has also requested the national postal service to alleviate contract requirements.

So far, online companies have had to make at least 20 shipments per month to join the government’s K-packet service, which offers lower shipping rates for businesses.


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