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Expats observe strengths of export powerhouses in Ningbo

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: November 27, 2023 L M S

Once one of the launch ports of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Ningbo, a coastal city in East China's Zhejiang province, is now known as a key foreign trade city in China. The city recently ranked fourth nationwide and first in the province in comprehensive score of foreign trade released by China Customs magazine.

From Nov 22 to 24, expats from various countries including the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom teamed up to unlock the strengths of exports of Ningbo enterprises.

Zeekr, an NEV arm of Geely and with five models in the market, has embraced smart manufacturing. At the cutting-edge Zeekr Factory in Ningbo Qianwan New Area, expats dived into the world of innovation and technology.

Exploring factory's production process, through die casting, stamping, welding, painting to final assembly, the expats were fascinated by various kinds of robots which improve the efficiency by reducing the labor force.

At present, Zeekr has many international brands as its suppliers, including Intel, Continental, Schaeffler, Vibracoustic and Valeo.

"I believe that the cooperation with global brands gives Zeekr an opportunity to shine on the international platforms, and this is a perfect opportunity for the new era of electric vehicles," said Douglas Dueno, one of the visitors from the US.

Zeekr's products are mainly exported to Europe and Middle East, followed by Kazakhstan in the near future.

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Expats pose for a photo at Zeekr in Ningbo. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Elsewhere in Naturehike, a popular camping equipment brand for outdoor lovers, expats immersed themselves in different camping scenes and diverse camping products.

Focusing on design, research and development, and processing businesses, Naturehike sells its products through mainstream e-commerce platforms worldwide, serving outdoor lovers in 68 countries.

From January to September this year, Naturehike's overseas sales reached 240 million yuan ($33.6 million), up 19 percent year-on-year. Sticking to quality first is one prime reason for the company's success in global market, said Wang Lijuan, the person in charge of Naturehike's administrative department.

A proof is that the company built an outdoor equipment laboratory worth over 10 million yuan last year, equipped with six test areas in fields such as light-aging, fabric, rain and wind, ensuring a strict quality control.


An expat experiences camping equipment in Naturehike. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

To make products competitive in the global market, Ningbo enterprises have clear positioning in segmented markets. Boasting different categories of bamboo products, Ningbo Shilin Arts & Crafts has specialized in the area for 30 years.

"The diversity and the flexibility of the bamboo that's been produced here is quite large and amazing, as pretty much anything you can think of that can be done and with bamboo you can do it more, " said Ghassan Nassar, a trader from the US after visiting the company. 

Ningbo Shilin Arts & Crafts now is the first Chinese enterprise to provide bamboo products to furniture conglomerate Ikea.


International visitors learn about bamboo products at Ningbo Shilin Arts & Crafts. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]