World Bank appraise China’s global financial access

World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kim attends a press conference during the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC, April 19, 2018.

China has in recent year gone a long way in terms of financial accessibility. Take trade for example, importers can now apply to Chinese factoring company for financial assistance for their trade in China.

World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kim said on Thursday that he expected the progress and innovation in improving financial access across China will also happen in other countries, so that financial services become universally accessible.
Nearly one-third of the world's adult population still doesn't have access to financial services, according to the World Bank's Global Findex data, which tracks how people use financial services and was released on Thursday.
image credit: internet

"China has made great progress, but if you reflect back, the Global Findex showed that we went from the low 60s to about 69 percent of people in the world covered in terms of financial access," Kim said, referring to the finding that 69 percent of adults around the world, or 3.8 billion people, have an account at a bank or mobile money provider, up from 62 percent in 2014.
"So we're looking at the innovations in China and we're trying to ensure that we get from around 70 percent to 100 percent," he told a news conference during the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington. In China, 80 percent of people older than 15 have such accounts, and 57 percent of the account owners are using mobile phones or the internet to make purchases or pay bills - roughly twice the share in 2014, according to the Global Findex.
Kim called for ramped-up efforts to help realize the World Bank's goal of achieving universal financial access by 2020.
He said the World Bank has been studying the way that China has approached financial inclusion and has actually participated with China in the past on projects such as creating special branches of banks specifically for women.
In the private sector, groups such as Alibaba and Tencent have dramatically increased access to capital, markets, even in some cases access to marketing accounting, Kim said, adding that these are the kinds of things small and medium-sized enterprises need to export their products overseas.
Kim noted that there is still a large gender gap in financial inclusion worldwide. According to the Global Findex, 72 percent of men and 65 percent of women have an account, a gap of 7 percentage points.
In China, 84 percent of men older than 15 are account owners, compared with 76 percent of females, a gap of 8 points.
"So we are watching carefully," Kim said. "China is improving financial access very quickly - not only access to financial services, but access to capital, access to markets. We need that to happen in every country in the world."
In the case of Alibaba in China, Kim said it has made access to capital almost instantaneous, so long as the user has a good record online.
"So that's a way of using innovation in an inclusive way," he said, "because they're focused on small and medium enterprises. If we can make that happen in other parts of the world, that'd be great."

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How much money you have can prove you are in upper class?

Not sure if you fall into the upper class?
How much money you need to earn to be considered "rich" by the government's standards depends on the city you live in.

For some Americans, the answer is having an average of $2.4 million to your name — that's almost 30 times the actual median net worth of US households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Ask the government, and they'll define wealthy as individuals earning at least $500,001 and couples earning at least $600,000 — the new income thresholds that now pay the top federal marginal income tax rate of 37% in accordance with President Donald Trump's new tax plan.

But in reality, the answer varies depending on the city you live in. What's considered rich in Detroit is almost $100,000 less than what's considered rich in Seattle.

image credit: internet 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's
 American Community survey, combining results on median household income from 2012-2016 to determine just how much you need to earn in the most populated city in every state, including Washington DC, to be considered rich.

Below, check out the income needed to be considered rich in some of America's biggest cities, listed top 5.

1. Anchorage, Alaska: at least $161,724

Raymona Pooler/Shutterstock

Median household income: $80,862
Population: 299,321

2. Seattle, Washington: at least $148,916

David Lewallen/Flickr
Median household income: $74,458
Population: 668,849

3. Washington, D.C.: at least $145,870

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock
Median household income: $72,935
Population: 659,009

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia: at least $135,438

Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

Median household income: $67,719
Population: 449,733

5. Urban Honolulu CDP, Hawaii: at least $126,722

Yoshinori Kumagai/Shutterstock
Median household income: $63,361
Population: 349,597

So, are you living in these top 5 rich cities and have enough money to fall into the upper class?

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5G Era Races toward the Big Splash

South Korea gave the world a glimpse of the much touted fifth-generation mobile technology (5G) by presenting sports contents via live streams and virtual reality at the recent Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, leaving visitors in a swoon.

The 5G magic - higher speeds, lower costs and low latency - promises to manifest itself at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 by which time it is expected to take the commercial world by storm.

Major technology sponsors for the Tokyo Olympics, including US semiconductor titan Intel, Japan’s predominant mobile phone operator NTT Docomo and auto giant Toyota, announced their partnerships for the 2020 Games on the eve of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, with plans for a big splash in Tokyo showcasing 5G technology.

Intel aims to blanket the upcoming 2020 Olympics with 5G, turning Tokyo into a “smart city” with even more video streams everywhere, including 4K video in moving cars, and more significantly, “pervasive facial recognition” for stadium access and security.

With Japan and South Korea going out of their way in pursuing 5G development, China, who has been an active player in the global telecommunications sphere for years in the 3G and 4G eras, has also stepped up efforts to take the lead in 5G innovation and grab a bigger share in the global telecommunications industry.

image credit: internet

“The central government is positioning 5G development as a national strategy to encourage new growth drivers for China’s economy, such as mobile internet and the internet of things, while boosting the overall value chain in chipsets, components, equipment and materials,” according to a research report from brokerage UBS Securities Co, which is affiliated with Swiss investment bank UBS.

Chinese companies and organizations involved in 5G development - upstream and downstream - are also gearing up to meet the nation’s goal of getting 5G off the commercial launch pad by 2020. “With the Chinese mainland having started the third phase of 5G technology research and development tests ahead of schedule in November last year, regulators are likely to issue 5G licenses to domestic telecom carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom in the second half of next year at the earliest,” said Wang Zhiqin, an expert with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

“5G devices will be mature for commercial applications in China next year, while frequency bands are likely to be distributed to telecom carriers in the second half of this year, accelerating the construction of 5G networks. We will be among the first batch of countries to issue 5G licenses in the world,” said Wang.

China’s two network equipment manufacturers - ZTE and Huawei, with their cutting-edge technologies and massive market share - are playing a leading role in the international 5G standards-setting body 3GPP (the 3rd Generation Partnership Project). The organization is now working on the first international version of standalone 5G specifications, which will be released in June this year.

“This year will be a critical year for setting the 5G standards and the development of commercial products. Chinese companies have done an excellent job in the first two stages of the tests, and are expected to keep it up in the third stage of 5G research,” said Fan Xiaobing, a senior vice-president at ZTE.

The three national network operators have announced pre-commercial 5G deployment in 17 provinces and cities this year, aimed at getting pre-commercial 5G telecom equipment ready by the end of 2018.

China Telecom and ZTE, together with mainland technology giant Baidu, have recently finished the first trial of autonomous vehicles under the 5G environment in Xiongan New Area, an important step as the country looks to commercialize 5G services.

However, compared to the 4G era, the adoption of 5G would be slower as the rollout of the 5G network requires huge investments, while the three telecommunication giants have yet to recoup their 4G investments, and the monetization of 5G has not yet matured.

UBS Securities expects capital expenditure on 5G to be more measured compared to the 4G rollout.

“We estimate that until 2020, the total number of 5G base stations will be between 50,000 and 100,000 - far less than that of the 4G era. The telecommunication companies will manage the 5G expenditure at a prolonged and gradual pace so that the network spending will match the revenue to maintain a reasonable return as the three telecommunication giants do not have much impetus to invest in 5G. The 5G investment will peak in 2021-22, reaching CNY 418 billion to 459 billion (USD73 billion),” the UBS Securities report said.

Wang also reckoned that the cost of building a 5G base station would be at least 1.5 times that of a 4G base station, which will put pressure on telecom carriers. But she said the trend to innovate and apply 5G in a wide range of industries would motivate them to move fast.

Bill Li Zhi-yong, chief strategist at Hong Kong-based business advisory firm Harmony Capital, said that one of the major challenges for the industry was to identify the right business model to unlock the incremental 5G opportunities, while finding different sources of capital optimizing the cost of 5G network investment, in addition to solving the technique problems.

“The investment planning for 5G will spread over a long period of time, starting from a low level and increasing year by year. That may give the three carriers a breathing spell,” said Li.

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Where to find money and start your business?

If you are starting or running a new business recently, what will be better than a start-up capital or financial support? But where to find it? How to use it?

image credit: internet
Here are some examples:

Personal Savings. The truth is most startups are funded with personal savings. Before you make a big withdrawal, however, I recommend that you have at least a year’s worth of fixed living expenses (like your mortgage and insurance needs) set aside.

When you’re starting your own shop, you may have to forgo a salary for a few months, even a year, until you gain traction and income starts flowing.

Friends and family. If you’ll go this route, be clear about the terms and put everything in writing, so no bad blood arises.

Banks. Banks are not always easy to crack when it comes to small business lending. It goes without saying that you’ll need a firm business plan and a squeaky-clean credit record to get approved.

Angel investors and venture capital firms.  Getting financing from them can be a high-wire dance. But if you can do a little soft-shoe and have a great idea and terrific business plan, these types of investors will back you in exchange for equity or partial ownership. 

Economic development programs. There are a range of development loan programs out there, but finding one you can tap might take a little sleuthing and you may need special certification to qualify. For example, if you’re a woman, you might consider getting your firm certified as a woman-owned business. If you’re the principal owner and from a minority group or are located in an economically disadvantaged region, you might qualify for a special loan as well.

Home equity loans. If you have substantial equity built up in your house and a credit score well above 700, this route may be a pretty good option. The funds are usually taken as a lump sum that you can pay off over time. And interest is not sky high, roughly 4.5% right now.

credit unions. It’s a good idea to seek out one that offers credit line for your business. For example, the credit purchasing card - GTCP Card, supported by one of the leading global trade service platform in China, provide global buyers solutions to buy now and pay later. It does make the cash flow.

If you want to go this route, check out eGTCP.com for a list of cards with the lowest rates and best terms.

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Drugs made overseas to be tax-free in China

The drug market in China sees a new change as pharmaceuticals made overseas, including cancer drugs and traditional Chinese medicines, will be exempt from import taxes starting May 1, as part of a package of polices to improve drug access and public health in China.
The move comes just over a week after the central government released measures to boost the production and clinical application of generic drugs to help lower the cost of medical bills.
The State Council, which announced the exemptions after an executive meeting on Thursday, also said the value-added tax on the production and import of drugs will be cut by a large amount, a decision experts say will be even more effective in easing patients' financial pressures.
Imports of innovative medicines will be encouraged, while the protection of drugmakers' intellectual property rights will be strengthened, the Cabinet said.
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This month, the central government issued a notice encouraging the development and production of generic drugs that are in short supply.
A generic drug is a medication that has the same active ingredients as a brand-name patented drug and yields the same medicinal effects, but it can be marketed only after the patent has expired.
"Generic drugs are less expensive because their manufacturers don't have to duplicate the original clinical trials for effectiveness and safety, which lowers the cost of bringing the drug to market," said Yu Li, an expert at the Beijing Institute for Drug Control.
About 95 percent of the nearly 170,000 drug production projects approved in China were for generic medicines, according to the National Health Commission.
The notice said government departments will draft a list of generic drugs that are in demand and will support their production with policies such as preferential tax rates for pharmaceutical companies.
To speed up the evaluation process, a testing system will be set up through several departments, including the nation's top health, drug and science authorities, the notice said. It also emphasized that the quality of generic drug production should be enhanced.
Competition between drugmakers was once unregulated, and the quality of products could vary and even be unsatisfactory, Xinhua News Agency recently quoted an unnamed official from the National Health Commission as saying.
China is home to more than 4,000 pharmaceutical companies that produce generic drugs, according to the China Food and Drug Administration, which is now part of the newly created State Market Regulatory Administration.
The notice stressed that strengthening safeguards for intellectual property related to drug innovation and production will be a priority, with the interests of patent holders balanced with the public's needs.
Infringing patents will be prohibited, it said. However, the government notice said that in the event of a serious epidemic or public health emergency that threatens lives, compulsory licensing and production of patented drugs will be initiated to allow generic copies onto the market as soon as possible.
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