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Yiwu - From poor city to starting point of the 'New Silk Road'

By Mao Jing ( Updated: 2014-05-29 21:46

Yiwu - From poor city to starting point of the 'New Silk Road'

Representatives of Chinese enterprises and international enterprises attended the signing ceremony: Ma Biao (standing third left), Vice Chairman of the National Committee of CPPCC, Sudan's Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman (standing fourth left), Li Jinjun, Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (standing second right) and Bao Yujun, President of the All-China Private Enterprise Federation (standing first right). [Photo by Mao Jing/]

Companies from countries such as Yemen, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia signed nine investment agreements for trade cooperation - worth a total of 300 million dollars - with Chinese companies, at the "Yiwu-Starting point of New Silk Road, Seminar on Business Opportunities," which opened in the city of Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on May 28.

Mayor of Yiwu city He Meihua said nobody could have predicted how Yiwu would look today, as it has developed from an ordinary town, becoming a city which takes the lead in commodity markets. He also said Yiwu is certainly capable of playing the role of starting point of the "New Silk Road," because it has the world's largest market of consumer goods, and it boasts a convenient location and flexible economic policies.

He added that Yiwu's trade mart - with 75,000 booths in a business area of 5.5 million square meters - is the world's largest wholesale market of consumer goods, and it attracts 210,000 sellers and buyers on an average day. It has an African Products Exhibition & Trade Center and China ASEAN Products Trade Center - and the Central and Eastern European Exhibition & Trade Center is under construction. Yiwu market has thus become an important "springboard" for imported and exported goods.

The mayor said the city is a perfect place for people from WANA (West Asian and North African) countries to buy goods, and business people from WANA countries were the first to purchase goods in Yiwu and are still the largest group of buyers - as some WANA countries continue to experience a shortage of daily necessities.

Yiwu also aims to become an international E-commerce center, national online business gathering center and "Cross-border E-commerce highland".

Listed as an International Inland Port by the UNESCAP, Yiwu is the only inland port city in eastern China. Every year, 782,000 containers are delivered from Yiwu to more than 210 countries and regions. The port provides one-stop customs clearance service, and the Yiwu-Xinjiang-EUR International Container Train is now operating and a new "Silk Road" is set to emerge.

He also said that "neither skin nor nationality is a problem" in the city, and more than 13,000 business people from over 100 countries - as well as migrant workers from 52 ethnic groups of China - have settled in Yiwu. Muslim halal barbecues, Korean cuisine, Italian desserts and German beer can be found on the city's Exotic Street.

"I hope we can learn from the city of Yiwu and build a sister city in our country," Sudan's Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman said.

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