A trade delegation from Jersey is to hold talks with business leaders and Government officials in a prosperous region of China that could lead to beneficial contracts for local companies servicing the e-commerce industry. 

The group, led by Economic Development Minister Senator Alan Maclean, will visit Zhejiang province in eastern China next week to discuss opportunities for Jersey to offer services to Chinese companies. 

The visit is the result of months of negotiations and preparation by Locate Jersey, the body responsible for developing inward investment and international trade. Wayne Gallichan of Locate Jersey held initial discussions with the China British Business Council in London in January, which led to an introduction to their counterparts in China. 

Chinese companies play a significant role in the e-commerce sector but face a challenge in delivering their goods to European and UK buyers. It can often take at least two weeks for products ordered online from Chinese suppliers to reach the buyer but Jersey could offer a solution by fulfilling orders in a matter of days. 

The delegation, which includes representatives of Jersey Post and Indigo Lighthouse, will visit the city of Yiwu, which is 260 km from Shanghai and home to one of the world’s largest commodity markets. The team will then move to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, and one of the most prosperous non-governmental economies in China. 

Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean said a new trade link could be extremely beneficial for both countries: ‘The new inward investment arm of Economic Development, called Locate Jersey, has a key role in attracting new business, new jobs and investment to Jersey. As we continue to face external challenges, it is imperative that we seek out new markets and capitalise on opportunities as they present themselves. Preparations for this visit have been handled very carefully and I am hopeful that Jersey can offer the services and infrastructure that will prove attractive to Chinese companies who are keen to explore the potential to develop new supply lines into Europe through Jersey for their products.’ 

Wayne Gallichan explains: ‘This visit is the culmination of months of work by Locate Jersey. Jersey’s international expertise in the fulfilment sector is attractive to Chinese businesses and in the past six months alone, two Chinese e-commerce businesses have established a presence in the Island. We realised there is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase our expertise in this sector. It’s extremely important that two of the leading local businesses operating in the sector are accompanying us to explain in detail the potential advantages of using Jersey as China’s hub for Europe and the UK.’ 

Kevin Keen, Chief Executive of Jersey Post said: ‘We believe that Jersey offers the ideal solution for international businesses needing to deliver their products to European and UK markets. We have the right people, the right expertise and the right infrastructure all at a very competitive price. We are very keen to explore opportunities such as this.’ 

A number of enquiries have already been received from businesses based in China and Hong Kong that are interested in using Jersey as a base for their fulfilment requirements. 

The trade delegation will be in China from 7th to 11th May and will involve a number of presentations and meetings with senior government officials, e-commerce associations and business leaders.