Spain and China, Allies but not Colleagues in Trade
This post comes to underline the strategy played by Spain on EU’s China policy, a role which has received virtually no attention so far, as well as the major reasons why Spanish e-commerce is potentially attractive for Chinese companies.
Spain´s strategy is based on promoting a political resemblance with China in order to gain a preferential economic treatment, a plot which has led to disparate results for both China and Spain.
A general view of bilateral trade
Even though both countries feel friendliness each other, they do so for different reasons: Spain emphasizes on economic benefits, while China is interested on Spanish political weight on the European stage.
In the last thirty years, Spain has tried to turn China into a key-partner, with mixed results in practice.
- China is the 5th non-EU destination for Spanish exports
- China is the 1st non –EU origin of Spanish imports
- Spain is the 7th trade partner of China in –EU
- China is the 11th destination of Spanish exports
- China is the 14th destination for Spanish investment (less than 1% of total)
- Spain is the 9th destination for Chinese investment in -EU
When looking at the evolution, some positive trends can be underscore:
- Spain’s exports to China have double to 4 billion in 2014
- China’s exports to Spain are growing since 2013
- Both country´s exports are well diversified
After the financial crisis in the West, Spain has redoubled its efforts to trade with China. There is still a huge growth potential for both countries to further develop.
Political understanding to facilitate Chinese future investment
The difficulties encountered by the Spanish companies in their landing in China contrast with the political temperance shown by Spain in its approach to China. The policy marked by Spanish governments regarding its Chinese counterpart has never shown significant differences: whether the party in power, Spanish policy has always been the same.
Far from stagnating, Golden Visa and Spanish Treasury Bonds are just two examples shown by Spain to attract Chinese investors, as well as the constant reminder of its close ties in Latin America.
The potential of Spanish E-commerce: an opportunity for Ecommerce business
Comparing to other mature markets, there are still loads of fresh chances to seize in the country: Spain’s ecommerce market as a whole is relatively small.
According to the latest analysis –Ecommerce Europe ´14-, Spain is the largest Ecommerce market in Southern Europe, far from Italy (2nd) and Turkey (3th).
Around 60% of Spanish customers already shop online, spending on average € 900 per year. Moreover, more than the 60% transactions are cross-border: UE, US and China lead the Top-3.
Its growth potential can be prompted by some aspect anyone thinking on approaching Spanish ecommerce should take into consideration :
- Improvement in logistics
- Take an advantage of the lower cost for online marketing
- Customer acceptance of foreign W-shops
- Spanish consumers distrust on websites, so offering a secure payment method is a must. Paypal is the favorite of more than half of buyers
- Spain is the European leader in mobile usage, and keeps growing
- Spain is the best gateway to test Portugal and Latin American countries
The bilateral relationship between China and Spain is one of our tasks. Thanks to our understanding of the market, in 2 Open we can help you boost your digital business.
Leverage the benefits both countries offer to your company,
It’s official! Taxation reform will start on April 8
On March 24, 2016, the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China released an article on its website to finally put an end to the on-going rumours. Turns out that all the gossips were right all along, so brace yourselves because the taxation reform for imported retail products through cross-border e-commerce is coming.
According to the article approved by the State Council, starting on the 8th of April 2016, China will implement the import tax policy for cross-border e-commerce retail sales (business to consumer, or B2C), and also adjust the tax policy on personal postal articles.
Currently, items for personal use are considered to be personal postal articles, these types of items represent a reasonable number of cross-border imported goods and will be taxed according to the new tax policy on personal postal articles. The new personal postal article tax is targeted on non-trade imported goods; it combines tariffs, import VAT and consumption tax. Generally speaking, the tax rates of personal postal article tax will be lower than those of imported goods for trade.
Products for cross-border e-commerce retail sales are imported through postal channels and these work differently than the traditional trade of files and correspondences, this is the main reason why unfair competition exists between cross-border e-commerce retail imports and general trade imports within the same category. This is the main reason why cross-border e-commerce imported goods will be considered as merchandise and charged with tariffs, import VAT and consumption taxes.
As a response to consumer’s reasonable demand, the single transaction limit for cross-border e-commerce retail goods will be increased from 1000 RMB to 2000 RMB, furthermore, the annual limit will also be increased to 20000 RMB. For cross-border e-commerce retail goods within the 2000 RMB price limit the tariff will be 0% with an import VAT and consumption tax of 70 % of the current statutory tax. As for the goods that surpass the single transaction or annual limit, they will be charged with full taxation under the general trade model.
Taking into account current regulatory conditions, for the moment, only cross-border e-commerce retail imports that can successfully provide trading, payment, logistics and other related electronic information, will be taken under the scope of the new policy. Personal belongings and imported goods that are unable to provide related electronic information will remain subjects to current regulations. Meanwhile, to optimize the taxation structure, simplify customs declaration and tax payments, and improve customs clearance efficiently for passengers and customers, China will adjust tax policies on personal postal articles. The changes include a reduction from the current four tax items (tax rates: 10%, 20%, 30% and 50%) to three. Under the new policy, tax item 1 is mainly for commodity from MFN with zero tariffs; tax item 3 is mainly for high-end commodity with consumption tax; the rest will be subject to tax item 2. Tax rates for the three new tax items will be 15%, 30% and 60% respectively.
We will have to wait and see how this affects cross-border e-commerce in the following years. Any enquiries you may have about how to increase sales and manage a successful ecommerce business model do not hesitate in contacting us. Our group of specialist will be more than happy to assist you.
This article was edited by Andres Arroyo Olson from 2Open.