Food Industry Innovation

E-commerce opportunities in China and South East Asia

As growth of online shopping and the global e-commerce sector expands rapidly the timing couldn’t have been better for the delivery of two e-commerce masterclasses to Western Australian agrifood business.

Map of the world showing e-commerce sales by region in USD billions: China 366.28, USA 312.06, United Kingdom 73.46, Japan 72.58, Germany 44.09, India 21.65, Canada 17.96, Australia 15.02, South Korea 4.4, France 3.5
2016 Retail E-commerce sales worldwide. Image source: E-commerce guide (Austrade).

Two e-commerce masterclasses, one focussing on China and one on South East Asia, were held in August at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s South Perth office and made available to regional Western Australia via video conferencing technology.

The masterclasses aimed to upskill export ready businesses about the online marketing arena with a diverse program including an overview of major online players, how to increase website traffic and tools for ever increasing and important social media.

An impressive line-up of internationally located speakers included Mr Richard Ruddy, RedMart vice president, a leading online supermarket in Singapore, Mr Kenneth Xu from SF Express, the second largest courier service in China, Mr Al Liang from China Certification and Inspection Group and Ms Sandra Lim and Mr Kong Cheng from Austrade Malaysia. They shared valuable insights and tips on trade in their regions.

Local experts included Mr Jack Lu from Austrade and Mr Darren Levy from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

Mr Lu, an e-commerce specialist provided an in-depth session titled ‘navigating e-commerce’ which gave a broad understanding of e-commerce in Asia including emerging trends and industries, major South East Asia e-commerce platforms, and how to retail your product online, including the logistics of distribution and marketing. He used interesting case studies to highlight the pathways into the variety of e-commerce platforms available in each country.

Tradestart advisor Mr Levy talked about ‘pre-market due diligence’ in an interactive session where participants were shown available online tools to help choose their export markets. The session also covered harmonised system (HR) codes, reading market trends, comparing free trade agreement advantages and navigating import and export requirements.

(L-R) DPIRD Food Industry Innovation project manager Kim Antonio, Austrade manager Belinda Hay, Austrade e-commerce specialist Jack Lu and CCIWA Tradestart advisor Darren Levy.

Masterclass participants, from a broad cross section of the food and beverage industry, all provided positive feedback in terms of the content and quality speakers. They all indicated a better understanding of e-commerce platforms and planned to apply knowledge learned to their businesses in the near future.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Food Industry Innovation project presented the e-commerce masterclasses in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

The masterclass was filmed and will soon be available on the Food Industry Innovations new past events and seminar resources webpage.