CHINA will encourage domestic distribution firms to expand by setting up overseas sales, exhibition and marketing centers, the State Council said in an industry guideline yesterday.

Domestic companies can develop overseas by setting up ventures, making acquisitions, investing or adding registered capital to foreign companies, the guideline said.

Meanwhile, domestic delivery companies should also introduce foreign investment and technologies to upgrade the local industry, which includes multiple sub-sectors including wholesale, retail and logistics.

Some 12 domestic courier companies, including ZJS Express and Baishihuitong Express, have applied to the State Postal Bureau of China to enter the international market.

"We would start with neighboring countries by setting up our own networks or cooperating with local delivery firms and then enter the European market," said Zhou Jian, general manger of Baishihuitong.

Zhou said an increasing number of domestic customers are asking to ship parcels abroad, pushing couriers to enter the international market.

Industry analyst Xu Yong said profits are higher overseas.

The courier business from the overseas market, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, accounts for 3.5 percent of the total volume of domestic couriers but the revenues from these areas account for 24 percent of their total profits, Xu said.

The guideline also said authorities will work to bring down costs by regulating fees for the transportation of farm produce and eliminating other improper fees.

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