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Approaching Asian Games ignite Yiwu's sports economy

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: August 3, 2023 L M S

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Soccer balls are on sale at the Yiwu International Trade Market. [Photo/Zhejiang Daily]

With the impending Asian Games, Yiwu is seeing strong exports of sporting goods, reaching 3.52 billion yuan (489.5 million) in the first half of this year, up 22.5 percent year-on-year.

As the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand arrives, sporting goods from Yiwu have permeated both playing fields and stands, ranging from flags of competing nations to soccer balls, jerseys, and socks.

Traders specializing in sporting event peripherals primarily cluster around districts 1 and 3 of the Yiwu International Trade Market. About 75 percent of sporting goods from Yiwu are exported to the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America, Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea.

Yiwu Kangman Sports Goods Co churns out over 1,000 soccer balls daily, yet this can’t keep pace with incoming orders.

"To be candid, even if I stopped taking new orders, the existing foreign trade backlog will extend to the end of the year," beamed Hu Fangjun, the company's general manager.

A Southeast Asian merchant surnamed AiDrK is a seasoned patron of a shop managed by Guo Huiping.

In early May, AiDrK came to Yiwu to replenish his inventory, staying for over half a month. Guo secured a foreign trade order for a wide assortment of items to be used for grassroots events in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Approximately 90 percent of Guo's business is international. "Since the beginning of the year, it's been nonstop. Foreign trade orders continue to pour in, and I surmise this is linked to the successive hosting of major sporting events, including the upcoming Asian Games," said Guo.