Online Markets to Help Push Growth in Rural Areas
China is stepping up efforts in promoting the online sales of agricultural products as part of a broad plan in leveraging e-commerce in alleviating property in rural areas. The assistant minister of commerce Wang Bingnan stated, that the ministry will integrate resources from telecommunications, postal and transportation departments in helping rural residents to sell their farm produce online better.
The State Council called for joint efforts from governments and enterprises in speeding up the development of rural e-commerce, saying that the enhancing the rural regions abilities in upgrading their infrastructure facilities and market access channels since they are on top of the ministry’s agenda. In achieving the goals, the ministry partners with the State Post Bureau in encouraging e-commerce companies and express delivery firms in expanding into rural regions and directly link farmers with consumers, thus reducing the role of the middleman.
According to the director general of the State Post Bureau Ma Junsheng, that online shopping platform are helping quality agricultural products reach more consumers with greater efficiency and at a lower cost. Currently the rural e-commerce is developed rapidly in China’s eastern coastal regions although less developed inland areas are still facing obstacles this including lack of access to the Internet and a shortage of skilled workers. Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows that in 50,000 village that have no access to the Internet is located in the middle and western provinces of China. To fix this the Ministry of Industry and Information technology is planning to invest 140 billion yuan in upgrading rural Internet infrastructure.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that most of the investment are going to inland regions as the government will subsidize enterprises that are willing to create networks in rural areas and make it more efficient use the funds and companies are in need to bid for these projects. Last year the Ministry of Commerce has invested 4.8 billion yuan into helping 256 countries across China in developing e-commerce and over 100 are located in the western and middle regions. The rapid growth of e-commerce creates abundant new jobs and will boosts rural residents income.