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The International Cooperative Alliance-All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ICA-ACFSMC) workshop on Advancing E-commerce in Co-operatives: Theory and Practice was held at the Zhejiang Institute of Economics and Trade (ZJIET) from August 26 to 31, 2018.


E-commerce is part of the business model of enterprises, to complement their traditional commercial activities for selling and buying.  The United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that globally the ecommerce, market is worth around $25 trillion in 2015, up from $16 trillion in 2013; with B2B at 22.4 trillion and B2C at $2.9 trillion.  E-commerce is an important driver of innovation, competitiveness, job creation and growth. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to become a clear leader in global e-commerce development and much of this growth will be driven by mobile commerce sales.  Co-operatives as business enterprises operating in a globalized world, are exposed to market conditions and increased competition. In order to achieve the objectives of its members they will need to adopt technology, improve efficiency, integrate their supply chain, and open new avenues to connect with customers. In the Asia Pacific region, a number of ICA members are adopting e-commerce. Apart from ACFSMC in China; we have IFFCO in India; JA-Zenchu and JCCU in Japan; NACF in Korea; MyAngkasa in Malaysia; and FPSDC in the Philippines.


Presentation by the China Co-op Electronic Commerce Company


ICA has been exploring ways to initiate cooperative-to-cooperative (C2C) trade that would facilitate the diversification of co-operative economies and value chains by facilitating exchanges and strengthening relationships between consumer co-operative organizations, co-operative producers, and co-operative development agencies. The ICA-AP and ACFSMC have held workshops in the past and among the issues identified have been strategies for e-commerce readiness; access to ICT infrastructure and services; trade logistics and trade facilitation; e-payment solutions; legal certainty and regulatory frameworks; capacity building and technical assistance; and access to financing.


The workshop in Hangzhou looked into issues related to design, practice, and payment. The lectures included the ICA-AP strategy on promoting C2C trade, Development and Business Models of China E-Coop, Opportunities and Challenges of E-Commerce in the New era, and Reform and Practices of Rural E-Commerce in China. Case studies were presented on Establishment and Maintenance of E-Commerce Platforms and AliExpress. The learning by doing exercise included practices on Coop E-Commerce Platforms and Introduction of “International Co-operative Product Pavilion;” E-Commerce Data Analysis Practices: Southeast Asia VS China; design of E-Commerce Platforms. The lectures were delivered by experts from China E Co-op, ZJIET, and AliExpress University. In attendance were ICA members from India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Vietnam.