BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) — When Damir Karcas, who markets drinks from Serbia, came to southeastern China to promote his products a month ago, he knew little about selling on Chinese e-commerce sites, an increasingly popular venue for food and beverage sales.
“I paid little attention to market information in this field before, but it seems necessary to keep yourself tuned in to changing market conditions in China,” said Karcas.
As infrastructure development progresses steadily along the China-proposed Belt and Road, a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asian, European and African countries, breaking invisible barriers of information asymmetry stands out as a key task.
Failures haunt many firms that venture overseas due to misunderstandings with local stakeholders and ignorance of the local regulatory and cultural environment.
Information asymmetry has become the top issue facing overseas investment by businesses as many firms are ignorant of possible risks, according to Jia Huai, deputy head of the economic information department of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
“It is reality that information and communication gaps create differences among individuals, groups and countries and misunderstandings about specific issues or projects when there is little or incorrect information,” said Aman Ullah Khan, Chairman of the Pak-China Business and Investment Promotion Council.
Jia suggested that enterprises at home and abroad establish an information exchange platform to develop trade and investment strategies according to the target country’s political, economic, cultural and social conditions.
An open and sound information-sharing mechanism should be based on big data and include databases, business connection platforms, consulting services as well as information collection, publication, screening and other customized services to help investors gain insight and expand their influence in their targeted markets.
Chinese government organizations and media groups are working to bridge the information gap and build an Information Silk Road. The State Information Center is constructing databases of countries involved in the initiative, and Xinhua News Agency rolled out a new line of information products to help global investors form better partnerships under the Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s bilateral trade with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative remained robust amid downward economic pressure and reached close to three trillion yuan (490.2 billion yuan) in the first half of 2015, about one-fourth of total trade volume.
“To avoid misconceptions and misunderstandings and to increase trust among stakeholders, partners, and investors, there should be fair and accurate flow of information. With the passage of time, economic and financial information will be as important as investment and other projects,” Khan added. Enditem