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Manufacturing leads Fujian's foreign trade
Updated: 2015-04-14

Province reaps benefits of China's latest round of reform and opening up, Ye Jun and Hu Meidong report.

With its strong local industries and serving as a window to the Asia-Pacific region, East China's Fujian province is participating actively in the country's "Belt and Road" iniatives as it looks to broaden its foreign trade.

According to the Department of Commerce of Fujian province, the region is fully activating construction of its free trade zones, as a benefit from the country's new round of opening up.

With the transformation and upgrading of traditional leading industries and rapid development of newly emerging industries, Fujian's economic aggregate is set to continue to increase by a yearly average of more than 10 percent. Therefore, Fujian will import more producer goods and consumer goods, while providing more high-quality but inexpensive goods from the region to the world.

Physical features

Fujian province is located on the east coast of China, with Taiwan to the east, near Hong Kong and Macao. It was one of the first provinces in the country to carry out the reform and opening-up policy more than three decades ago. It has a stable population of 37.48 million, a land area of 121,400 square kilometers, and a sea area measuring 136,300 sq km.

Fujian was the starting point of legendary Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), navigator Zheng He's historic voyages, as well as the beginning of the Maritime Silk Road. It was a major trading center and an important portal where China met the world.

Trade and economy

Fujian has witnessed a rapid and sustained growth of more than two digits in its GDP for 12 consecutive years from 2002 to 2013. In 2014, the province's total production was valued at 2.4 trillion yuan ($386 billion), an increase of 9.9 percent from the previous year, and 2.5 percent higher than the national average. Provincial GDP per capita exceeded $10,000.

The province is highly oriented toward foreign trade and markets, ranking among the country's most open regions. Thus far, Fujian has established trade and economic links with 223 countries and regions and friendly relations with 41 provinces and cities in 19 countries.

The scope of its foreign trade has been expanding. In 2014, the total volume of Fujian's imports and exports totaled $177.5 billion, an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous year; exports were $113.46 billion, an increase of 6.6 percent; and imports reached $64.04 billion, a 1.9 percent rise. Fujian ranked seventh in China for foreign trade, sixth for exports and eighth for imports. The province's foreign trade sector has grown stronger, with as many as 18,000 enterprises involved in foreign trade in 2014.

Optimized trade structure

Fujian has focused on developing its dominant industries - electronic information, equipment manufacturing and petrochemicals; and has put much effort into the development of traditional leading industries, such as construction materials, metallurgy, textiles and light industry. It has been strengthening emerging industries such as biological and new medicines, energy conservation and environmental protection, new energy sources and materials, marine engineering, modern agriculture and the service sector. The province has formed a set of complementary leading, fundamental and newly emerged industries, as well as a strong and competitive modern industrial system.

The structure of Fujian's foreign trade is being constantly upgraded. Exports of mechanical and electrical products, and advanced and new technology products account for half of the province's total volume of exports. Fujian is the world's biggest base producing and exporting display monitors, as well as the biggest base producing and exporting automotive glass and stainless steel. Exports of textiles, clothing, shoes, umbrellas, furniture, luggage and bags, ceramics and other traditional goods have maintained good momentum, and continue to be wellreceived and competitive. Fujian also ranks highly among the country's exporters of canned goods, tea, fruit and vegetables, edible mushrooms and other agricultural products. It is also the main source of roasted eel in China. Stone construction materials, sports equipment, clocks, daily chemical industry goods, metals and plumbing products from the province account for significant market shares.

Diverse market composition

While strengthening its trade with developed countries such as the United States, Europe and Japan, Fujian has also increased its market share in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 2014, its exports to the US, the European Union, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region accounted for 65.9 percent of the province's total exports by value. Exports to Latin America, ASEAN, Africa, South Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Australia and New Zealand are developing quickly, with a year-on-year growth of 6.4 percent. In 2014, imports and exports from Fujian to 33 economies exceeded $1 billion, including 27 economies where exports alone totaled more than $1 billion.

Elevated brand strength

Fujian province has cultivated a group of export brands with independent intellectual property rights, self-owned brands, and independent marketing channels, with export products that have high technology, high added value and high profit. The province has recognized 202 branded products from 195 enterprises as internationally famous brands, involving seven industries - electrical machinery, textiles and clothing, light industry, mining and chemicals, construction materials and metallurgy, medical care, foodstuffs and livestock products.

The province has sites that are dubbed "Shoe City," "Umbrella City,""Porcelain City," "China's Famous Casual Clothes Brands City," "Clocks City," "The Hometown of Bamboo and Wood in China," "China Electrical Machinery City", "China Plumbing City" and "The Hometown of Resin Craftwork in China." Local brand names, as well as 16 national bases recognized as models for upgraded foreign trade, have become strong engines for the province's foreign trade.

Fujian is entering a brand new era.

Contact the writers at yejun@chinadaily.com.cn and humeidong@chinadaily.com.cn

 Manufacturing leads Fujian's foreign trade

The through-put of Huaneng Port in Fujian province has increased from 5 million to 12 million metric tons in recent years. Photos Provided to China Daily

 Manufacturing leads Fujian's foreign trade

Advanced shore cranes are available in most ports in Fujian.

Manufacturing leads Fujian's foreign trade

(China Daily 04/14/2015 page10)