China to improve rural delivery logistics to unleash consumption potential of rural areas

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China will improve the delivery logistics system in the rural areas to further facilitate the flow of agricultural produce to urban households and consumer goods to rural areas, as part of the effort to advance rural vitalization, increase farmers’ income and unlock rural consumer demand, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.

“Expanding the logistics services, especially express delivery, to rural areas is an apparent trend. This will both boost rural consumption and sales of agricultural produce,” Li said.

Integrated development of e-commerce and delivery logistics in rural areas will be advanced. The Internet Plus approach will be employed to better align urban markets and logistics firms with farm households and farmer cooperatives.

Specialized agricultural product delivery services and cold-chain storage and processing facilities will be developed. All this will help boost the sales of agricultural produce and in particular support the development of distinct local business sectors in the rural areas that have just been lifted out of poverty.

The efforts to cover all administrative villages with delivery services will be advanced based on local conditions. Faster progress will be made to shore up the infrastructural weak links of rural delivery logistics.

In rural areas in east and central China, the role of market forces will be better leveraged and enterprises will be guided in setting up outlets in villages, to provide better delivery services in rural areas.

In rural areas in west China, postal service providers need to fully play their basic role in the last-mile delivery and cooperate more closely with sectors such as express delivery and supply and marketing, to extend delivery services to more villages.

“While adhering to market-oriented methods and competitive development, we should also place greater emphasis on the provision of public services. Support will be provided to improve relevant infrastructure in rural areas.” Li said, “The reform of government functions must be steadily advanced to ensure fair competition.”

The reform of government functions in the delivery sector will be deepened. Unwarranted and unnecessary restrictions will be removed. The development of last-mile delivery services in rural areas will be encouraged.

Existing facilities in the villages will be utilized when developing integrated delivery logistics service stations at village level, to effectively lower the costs of last-mile delivery service in rural areas. Oversight on delivery logistics services will be strengthened, to promote fair competition and protect people’s lawful rights and interests.