Global professional firms are racing to expand and upgrade their services portfolio during the ongoing China International Import Expo, in an attempt to widen the scope and depth of their operations on the Chinese mainland and the market itself.
Audit to consultancy service provider PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, has launched its "panoramic service platform". It exclusively addresses the business needs derived from the CIIE, in a move to help make it a permanent event.
The platform will draw on PwC's expertise in areas ranging from consulting and resource-matching, to mergers and acquisitions, and will extend a full spectrum of services to interested parties that are eyeing opportunities arising from the country's thriving import sector.
The prototype platform is the result of a series of business requirements PwC frequently receives that align with the CIIE ethos, such as Chinese market entrance guidance for small and medium-sized foreign enterprises, said Elton Huang, a Shanghai-based senior partner at PwC China.
"The attempt is more like an aggregation of business matrices, or a professional services ecosystem that we offer," Huang said.
The panoramic service platform made its debut during the CIIE, where a dedicated newsroom was in place at PwC's booth to broadcast all ongoing events to a wider audience.
As the six-day expo draws to an end, the platform is set to continue its mission of addressing import-themed business inquiries, Huang said.
In addition to the service portal, PwC is also showcasing some of its innovative practices beyond its traditional audit, tax and management service portfolio.
Its blockchain traceability solution called PwC Air Trace provides end-to-end transparency across the supply chain, enhancing consumers' trust in the products they buy.
"The CIIE is a grand showroom for service trade practitioners like us to exhibit our most innovative endeavors in technology, social initiatives and business models," Huang said. "Compared with pure online communication, the impact of face-to-face engagement is just so powerful and can have long-lasting, spillover effects."
Also flexing its digital muscles is Singapore's DBS Bank, which is showcasing its strength in the digital space and financial technology, notably in trade and cash management, targeting importers and exhibitors alike during the CIIE.
"Last year, we started to transform our retail branches into cashless operating branches. We also launched the DBS iWealth digital platform to facilitate our customers' financial needs on the WeChat platform," the bank said.
In a bid to facilitate smooth transactions, HSBC Bank has launched its Trade Transaction Tracker in China, a service that enables its corporate clients to track the status of their trade transactions with real-time updates on their smartphones, wherever they are and whenever they want.
This will save a lot of time for companies on back and forth enquiries with instant mobile access to monitor transaction status, and help them to speed up their trade cycle, enhance cash flow, improve their supply chain management, and improve their market competitiveness, according to Florence Tan, head of global trade and receivables finance for HSBC in China.
Shi Jing contributed to this story.