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China’s e-commerce department visits Sussex

A recent visit (17October 2016) by the China International Electronic Commerce Centre (CIECC) provided a rare opportunity to foster collaboration between the University and Chinese government trade agencies.

The CIECC is a body of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce responsible for nation-wide e-commerce infrastructure and promoting international cooperation for building online networks.

In his welcome address Sussex Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Michael Davies, highlighted the mutual benefits that promoting closer relations between China and Sussex could have for both parties, stressing the contributions made by the growing number of Chinese students at Sussex in recent years.

Speaking on behalf of the University of Sussex Asia Centre, Kourosh Kouchakpour and Dr Qingxiu Bu outlined the benefits for future cooperation, especially as research at the Asia Centre was concerned with tracing flows of people and commodities between China and countries in Central/West Asia.

CIECC director, Mr Zhu Xiaoliang, commended the TRODITIES project and spoke about the potential for further research and learning exchanges between China and the University. 

Links between Sussex and the CIECC were instigated as part of the European Research Council-funded research project: ‘Trust, Global Traders and Commodities in a Chinese International City’ (TRODITIES). 

Led by Prof Magnus Marsden (School of Global Studies), TRODITIES is an interdisciplinary research project that examines China’s trading relations with the world. The project’s central focus is Yiwu, a commercially vibrant city in China’s Zhejiang province that is known as a world hub for wholesale trade in ‘small-commodities’. The TRODITIES project examines the ways in which transnational trading activities are conducted in Yiwu, and traces the city’s connections with the rest of the world. The project’s partnership with CIECC emerged as a result of the rising significance of e-commerce to the city of Yiwu and the lives of the traders who live and work there.

During the visit the CIECC delegation discussed the possibility of further collaboration on education and data sharing, as well as bridging the gaps among industry, government and academia to promote online enterprise. They met with members of the School of Global studies, the School of Education and Social Work and the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research, and the Doctoral School, as well as with International Partnerships officers who provided support for organising the visit.

The TRODITIES project team will continue developing close relations with the CIECC and other Chinese partners over the next few years as the project progresses.


By: Marina Marouda
Last updated: Friday, 28 October 2016