Ningbo becomes hot spot for European products
An aerial view of Ningbo in Zhejiang province. CHINA DAILY
City in Zhejiang province to hold consumer goods fair starting June 8
Ningbo in Zhejiang province has become a hot spot for Central and Eastern European products to enter the Chinese market. The city has also played a pivotal role in boosting two-way investment between China and countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Trading will be the main topic at this year's China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo &International Consumer Goods Fair, to be held in Ningbo from June 8-11.
The event is expected to attract more than 6,000 professional buyers, arrange multiple online and offline business matchmaking and display an array of products from local specialties and daily consumer goods to emerging industries such as intelligent equipment, biomedicine, electronic information and general aviation.
Ningbo Customs has issued 32 support measures for the importing of goods from Central and Eastern Europe.
Data from Ningbo Customs show that in 2020, the total trade volume between Ningbo and countries in Central and Eastern Europe will be close to 30 billion yuan ($4.68 billion), accounting for more than 4 percent of the nation's total.
Imports of goods from Central and Eastern Europe reached 3.76 billion yuan, an increase of 6.3 percent from 2019.
The amount accounted for 2 percent of the country's total and more than half of Zhejiang's total.
From January to April this year, Ningbo's imports and exports to countries in Central and Eastern Europe were 11.96 billion yuan, an increase of 48.8 percent year-on-year.
Among the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Ningbo has maintained growth in its import and export volume with 13 countries.
The city's top five trading partners are Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania.
The total value of imports and exports from Ningbo to Poland in the first four months was 3.94 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 32 percent, accounting for 32.9 percent of the city's total for the period.
Ningbo has become the country's largest Central and Eastern European commodity distribution center.
"In 2015 when we participated in the expo, we found the huge potential of Central and Eastern European products," said Chen Yi, general manager of Ningbo Dijia Vida Trading.
"The company began to engage in the import and sales of Central and Eastern European food and wine.
"From the initial import of one container to the current annual import of more than 100 containers, we followed in the footsteps of the expo to become bigger and stronger," Chen added.
"Domestic consumers' recognition of Central and Eastern European products is also increasing."
Cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe has become a business card for Ningbo's opening-up to the outside world.
Ningbo has built the Central and Eastern European Commodity Perennial Pavilion with comprehensive coverage, the richest categories and the latest model in China.
So far, 36 Central and Eastern European special product direct sales centers have been established across the country. At the same time, a trade and logistics park for Central and Eastern European commodities has been established in the Ningbo free trade zone.
Ningbo has long realized that to achieve deeper economic and trade cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries, it must optimize the allocation of resources and improve the efficiency of all parties through the platform.
In February last year, Ningbo issued the Overall Plan for Building Ningbo China-CEEC Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone, proposed efforts to build the demonstration zone into a new channel for the Belt and Road Initiative, and tapped a new highland for local exploration of the international cooperation system.
The Five Seas and Six Ports cooperation mechanism between Ningbo Zhoushan Port and Central and Eastern European countries has been initially established, and the container transport volume reached 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Sofia Chinese Cultural Center has been established in Bulgaria, and various educational cooperation programs have been carried out with 78 universities in Central and Eastern Europe.
The China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo and International Consumer Goods Fair attracts over 6,700 buyers in 2019. CHINA DAILY
A container ship docks at a port in Ningbo. CHINA DAILY