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    April 16, 2018 7:21 AM +0430

    LA PAZ Phil Kessel USA Jersey , April 10 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia climbed two spots in the FIFA ranking, going from 70th to 68th, the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) announced Thursday.

    Spain leads globally with 1,460 points, followed by Germany with 1,340

    points, Portugal with 1,245 Patrick Kane USA Jersey , Colombia with 1,186 and Uruguay with 1,181.

    Despite its ascent, however, the national team continues to trail in last place in South America, the FBF said.

    According to the latest ranking, Bolivia is in 68th place with a total of 497 points, behind Paraguay (54th) Mike Komisarek USA Jersey , Peru (43rd), Venezuela (41st), Ecuador (28th), Chile (14th), Brazil (6th), Argentina (6th), Uruguay (5th) and Colombia (4th) in the region.

    The big surprise was actually Argentina's slide in the ranking, as it went from holding the first place among regional teams last year to third place Max Pacioretty USA Jersey , along with Brazil, Colombia moved to the head of the list.

    Bolivian soccer trainer Sergio Apaza said that Bolivia's lackluster showing was due to its "worst" performance ever during World Cup qualifiers.

    "We Bolivians are aware our team was improvised, not the work of a medium- or long-term project. We always make the mistake of doing things at the last minute," he said.

    The former head of the FBF, who took Bolivia to the 1994 World Cup in the USA, Guido Loayza, said those responsible for the state of the national team should step down and allow new talent to take over.

    "We hope that this year, during the football federation elections Matt Niskanen USA Jersey , there is true renewal and the new managers propose short-, medium- and long-term plans," he said.

    Bustling e-commerce market creates new growth opportunities for overseas companies in China

    British retailer Burberry Group would never have imagined that its scarves and trench coats would be sold from virtual stores in China. But the iconic luxury brand and other biggies like Marks & Spencer Plc, Mothercare Plc, Nike Inc, Levi's Strauss & Co and Sony are increasingly finding that having an online presence is essential for continued success in China.

    For most of these companies, the online attraction is understandable: surfing the Internet is not only the favorite leisure activity for young people in China but also the main influencer of purchasing decisions. Physical risks and costs associated with setting up stores have also prompted many of these companies to build their online presence.

    In April, Burberry opened a virtual store on Tmall Kyle Palmieri USA Jersey , the biggest business-to-customer site in China, and now offers a wide array of items, ranging from woolen scarves priced at 4,000 yuan ($640) to high-end trench coats called Heritage, priced at 17,500 yuan.

    Though Burberry is the first pure luxury brand to join Tmall, the platform has already attracted more than 70,000 sellers. British fast-fashion retailer ASOS has also established a store on Tmall to supplement its existing outlet in China. While it's still too early to gauge whether Burberry would reap gains in the long run Justin Abdelkader USA Jersey , there is no doubting the huge growth potential of China's e-commerce market.

    Growth rates typically represent the true appeal of any industry. The e-commerce industry has been no exception and has clocked consistent growth rates of over 70 percent in China since 2006.

    Last year, Chinese shoppers purchased 1.8 trillion yuan worth of goods online, which means that 7.9 percent of the country's total retail trade was conducted over the Internet.

    Industry experts, however, say that Chinese e-commerce platforms have played a big role in shaping consumer preferences. They point out that though e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Tmall were initially used by Chinese consumers to leverage pricing advantages, the platforms have now become more sophisticated. E-commerce platforms are focusing more on branding and product qualities and this has benefited multinational firms, they say.

    Carrie Yu, a partner specializing in retail and consumer practice with the global consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong Jonathan Quick USA Jersey , says it's an opportune time for tapping the e-commerce potential of China.

    " China is moving toward a consumption economy, and more and more of its citizens are becoming affluent. They want to spend to indulge themselves," Yu says, adding that unlike some people who have reached a certain age and regard savings as a virtue, "young Chinese love to spend, as they want to have a comfortable life rather than just saving money".

    Yu says China's love affair with Apple products is the best example of this trend. "Rather than smartphones they are street phones in China, especially among the younger generation. Obviously, price is not an issue here John Carlson USA Jersey , as the higher prices have not deterred purchases. It is not uncommon to find many young Chinese who have spent more than a month's salary to acquire the latest iPhone from Apple."

    That, experts say, is also the driving force for the e-commerce industry in China. Consumption is no longer determined by prices and is more a combination of qualities and services, they say. Adding further credence to these statements are reports that China overtook the US to become the biggest e-commerce market in the world last year.

    Though the e-commerce market is unlikely to post the growth rates of over 100 percent it recorded between 2006 and 2010, it still has enormous potential due to the huge size of the market. China's real consumption in 2013 was 36.5 percent of total GDP, which is significantly lower than that of other countries such as the United States, which had a consumption penetration rate of 66.8 percent in 2013, according to Euromonitor International.

    Moreover Joe Pavelski USA Jersey , only about half of China's 618 million Internet users are online shoppers. With the increasing number of Internet users and the growing number of people making purchases online, the online shopping market in China is likely to remain the world's large.