Jinhua embraces 'the Belt and Road Initiative'
Jinhua, known as Wuzhou in ancient times, got its name as the “place where the Jinxing (Venus) and the Wunu (four stars in the constellation Aquarius) compete for splendor”, with a history of more than 1,700 years and brilliant civilization. It is a thousand miles in South the river flows, above the fourteen towns the City glows.” About 860 years ago, Li Qingzhao， the famous poetess in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) once described the verve of Jinhua with this poem when she visited the Eight-Chant Tower of the City.
Known as "Home to Crafts," Jinhua enjoys advanced civilian- owned economy, with its industry mainly supported by processing and manufacturing. Leading industries of the City include clothing and textile, mechanics and electronics, pharmacy and chemistry, manufacturing crafts, metalwork processing, architecture and building materials, automobile-and-motorcycle accessories, food processing and plastic ware.
Industries are distributed with different characteristics in different counties or county-level cities. For instance, Yiwu is characterized by its light-industry commodities, Yongkang by its automobile-and-motorcycle accessories and mechanical and electric tools, Dongyang by its clothing, architecture and magnetic materials, Lanxi by its non-ferrous metal, cement, towels and daily chemicals, and Pujiang by its textiles, lockmaking and lantern ornaments of crystals.
As a famous scenic area in Southeast China, Jinhua boasts a long history, beautiful land, and a lot of places of historic interest, so much so that it is known as a "City of Cultural Relics". With its forest acreage being above 60%, it is honored as one of the sanified cities in the province and one of the top tourist cities in the country.
Jinhua in Zhejiang province, home to the famed Yiwu wholesale hub for small commodities, is embracing new opportunities in "the Belt and Road Initiative", said a senior official.
The concept refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road strategies proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. It has won wide recognition from the international community and prompted local governments in China to take part in the drive over the past two years.
At the intersection of several major highways, Jinhua is a transport and trade hub for Zhejiang province. Hong Bing / For China Daily
Jinhua should be fully aware of its advantages so that it can seize the opportunities brought by the national strategy, said Xu Jia'ai, the city's Party chief.
The city has an industrial cluster featuring 17 industries each with revenues surpassing 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), Xu said.
As well, there are deeply complementary industries between Jinhua and regions along the Silk Roads, Xu said.
With more than 10,690 e-commerce enterprises, Jinhua has made great strides in developing its cyber economy.
The city's e-commerce transactions hit 235.6 billion yuan in 2014, up 29.7 percent year-on-year. It ranks the sixth on the list of top 100 e-commerce cities in China, according to a report released by AliResearch, a research organization affiliated with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, in June last year.
"The Belt and Road Initiative" strategy will help the city's e-commerce enterprises seek new sources of growth overseas, said Xu.
Wholesale markets serve as an important carrier for Jinhua's economic exchanges and industrial cooperation with other countries, he noted.
Jinhua is home to 451 wholesale markets for specific products, including Yiwu International Trade City - the world's largest wholesale market for small commodities - and Yongkang Hardware City, the third-largest distribution center for hardware products in the world. Transactions at the markets totaled a combined 252.5 billion yuan last year.
Yiwu, a national pilot city for comprehensive reform in international trade, has served as an engine for Jinhua's economic growth. The county-level city's new model for foreign trade has also injected new momentum into the region's innovative growth, according to the Party chief.
The private economy plays an important role in Jinhua's development, Xu said.
Private enterprises contribute 80 percent of the city's GDP, and taxes paid by the enterprises account for 70 percent of the city's total, according to statistics. More than 300,000 people from Jinhua now operate businesses outside Zhejiang province.
Jinhua is also a transportation hub in Zhejiang, the Party chief said.
The city was recently incorporated into the national high-speed rail network after the Hangzhou-Changsha line was put into operation in December 2014.
Eight expressways, including those extending to Shanghai, Kunming and Ningbo, link the city to East China and beyond.
The Yiwu airport was upgraded into an international airport after the State Council approved its expansion in July last year.
The Yiwu Bonded Logistics Center started operation in November 2014.
The China-Europe freight train that begins from Yiwu and ends in Madrid, Spain has been operational since November.
With two national first-grade optical fiber cable trunks and 10 second-grade trunks, Jinhua is also the second-largest hub of information transmission in Zhejiang province.
According to Xu, the city has trade ties with 63 countries and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
In 2014, Jinhua's exports to those countries and regions totaled $17.93 billion, accounting for 45.2 percent of its total exports. Imports from the countries and regions reached $610 million, accounting for 33.5 percent of the total.
Businesses from 35 countries along the "Belt and Road" Initiative invested in 114 projects in Jinhua during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period, while Jinhua's companies established 32 enterprises in 12 countries along the trade route during the period.
The city has also established friendly relations with nine cities in countries along the route including Thailand and Vietnam.
Jinhua staged a range of economic exchange events at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.
Jinhua also has 16 cultural and historical sites on the State list for protection.
The city is home to several universities including Zhejiang Normal University, Zhejiang College of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Jinhua Polytechnic.