Jiang Juying: I am a participant, beneficiary and witness of reform and opening-up
Editor's note: East China's Zhejiang province is renowned for its large international population. Aloft on the wings of China's reform and opening-up policy, a group of Zhejiang people have gone abroad to make a living since the 1970s. As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the policy, the Zhejiang website (www.ezhejiang.gov.cn) is launching a series of stories about overseas Chinese who are originally from Zhejiang, as well as those who are active in the province's development. Stories courtesy of Zhejiang Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and Zheshang Magazine
Jiang Juying, a businesswoman from Jinyun county, Zhejiang province [Photo/Zheshang Magazine]
In the late 1990s, Jiang Juying, then chairwoman of the overseas Chinese federation in Jinyun county, Zhejiang province, went to Paraguay to help recover a loan of 740,000 yuan ($107,310) for a local company. Her mission failed.
She didn't have the heart to see the downfall of a hometown company, so she decided to stump up the loan by selling her own assets, settle in the South American country and seek business opportunities there.
She began to learn Spanish and sell products at local markets. In 2000, Jiang partnered with a trading company to set up an import-export business between China and Paraguay. Eight years later, she founded a blanket factory in the country with support from the local government, starting a substantial business career and becoming the first Chinese entrepreneur to build successful businesses in Paraguay.
Nowadays, the textile products manufactured at Jiang's factory are well received by Paraguayan consumers and have been sold to other South American countries, including Brazil and Argentina. Jiang also constructed a 25-story building in Ciudad del Este, the tallest building in the city in eastern Paraguay.
Jiang's company has been included in the list of the top 100 companies in Paraguay since 2012 and has been among the best exporters in the country since 2015.
"China's reform and opening-up policy gave me a chance to realize my dream," Jiang said. "I am a participant, beneficiary and witness of the great policy."