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Chinese SMEs expand business in Belt and Road emerging markets

As cooperation continues to deepen between countries across the Belt and Road route, many Chinese agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are keen to further develop their businesses in emerging markets. What’s behind the rush to such markets, and the urgent need for legal and financial support for the SMEs?

Wang Lin has a decade of experience in the agriculture trade. He told CGTN about the tremendous opportunities for agricultural exports in the emerging markets, like countries in the Middle East, where there are urgent demands for service support for SMEs from the legal sector to finance.

He said “we want to discover markets in Egypt, Dubai, and Benin, they are all emerging markets for us. Is it natural to worry if we send products out to clients, if payment hasn’t been made yet? Now the difficulties faced cover methods of settlement, inspection and quarantine, and we need professional international commercial legal support. There is an additional term of credit export insurance that our clients must have the payment ratio of above 20 percent, the threshold is so high.”

A few months ago, Wang’s company and other SMEs together signed more than 66 million yuan ($9.7 million) in deals at the Food Africa 2017 expo held in Cairo. The event made the SMEs realize that proactive market guidance is highly important.

Wu Jingyuan, deputy director of Shaanxi Federation of Supply & Marketing Cooperative, said “agricultural enterprises are generally small, that is why we launched a Shaanxi Chamber of Commerce for Agri-product’ export and import. We are going to set up a Shaanxi agricultural products promotion center in Belt and Road countries, and we will provide corresponding legal services, and improve the construction of quality and brand system for SMEs.”

The company was just the tip of the iceberg. At last month’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China’s Ministry of Commerce jointly issued an initiative for promoting trade cooperation with more than 60 countries and international organizations. Now, with the Silk Road Expo being held in the city of Xi’an — the starting point of the ancient Silk Road — more efforts will be focused on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

During his keynote speech at the expo, Vice-Premier Wang Yang emphasized that China is willing to further expand the market with countries along the Silk Road economic zone, open various forms of regional preferential trade arrangements, as well as deepen cooperation on customs and quality inspection. More policies will be expected to guide and encourage SMEs to go out, flourish and succeed.