Ningbo companies strengthen trade with CEEC
An investment cooperation meeting is held at the third China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, on June 9, 2017. [Photo/cceecexpo.org]
Foreign trade companies in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, have been increasing trade with Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) in recent years thanks to the opportunities brought about by the annual China CEEC Expo held in the city.
China-Base Ningbo Group, which recorded the largest foreign trade volume in Ningbo last year, recently imported 1,425 buckets of paint from Latvia, the first business transaction in a project between the Ningbo government and Latvia for building a cross-border e-commerce bay.
"We hope our cooperation with Latvia will help strengthen ties between Ningbo and CEEC. The cross-border e-commerce bay provides us with a two-way cooperation platform through which Latvian products may enter our market and Chinese products will reach Latvia and other CEEC members," said Ying Xiuzhen, vice general manager of the company.
Ying added that countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative contributed one third of the company's total exports last year, and many of them were CEEC.
The company is not the only example. According to Ningbo Customs, Ningbo recorded 7.88 billion yuan ($1.14 billion) of trade with CEEC in the first four months of the year, up 7.6 percent year on year. The top three trade partners were Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
Jinding Fastening Piece Co, a local fastener manufacturer, saw a 1.7-fold increase in trade with CEEC during the period. General manager Xu Pengfei explained that Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary boast sound manufacturing foundations, which provides a profitable market for the company's fasteners.
Experts believe that the future Ningbo-CEEC trade will not merely revolve around imports and exports, but will help Ningbo companies further tap into the European market and realize industrial upgrading.
"Since CEE countries are located at the heart of Europe, trade with them may help our companies expand business into the rest of Europe. As few of these countries have conducted e-commerce businesses yet, Ningbo enterprises can seize the opportunity in that area," said Yu Danhua, vice chairman of the China Association of International Trade.
"We should introduce more advanced technologies and services from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, especially military high-tech that can be used in civilian production, to enhance global resource allocation and facilitate cooperation between Ningbo and CEEC in economy, culture and technology," said Chen Xuqin, executive director of a local economic research institute.