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Yiwu City:the largest martket for petty commodities

Source:    Author: Helan      Date: 2007-11-26

"Yiwu,300 kilometers away form Shanghai, is the largeest market of petty commodity wholesales in the world where various foreign buyers go to place orders." Such a depiction comes from Chinese Figures Astonishing the World, a special report co-delivered by the United Nations,the World Bank and Morgan Stanley. In that special report, Yiwu is the only enlisted county ecounomy. And in the choice of "the 2004 Most Favorite Chinese Cities of Domestic and Foreign Public in 2004 ", Yiwu ranked the first among all county-level cities.

What's the reason that a county-level city cocated in the middle of Zhejiang Province has attracted so much attention of the public?It is a "world supermarket"  3,000 booths, 10 major exhibition halls, an exhibition area of 70,000 square meters, 1,700 participating enterprises from more than 20 foreign countries and 25 domestic provinces, municipalities and automonous regions,12,000 overseas merchants from 120 countries and regions? Such are the latest records created by the 2005 Yiwu International Commodities Fair (hereinafter abbreviated as Yiwu Fair).
Bo Xilai, China's Minister of Commerce, claimed after his investigation in Yiwu that to study China's market economy, it is a must to come to Yiwu; to study the development of China's non-governmental economy, one must go to Yiwu.
At present, there live 1.6 million people in YIwu City; but over a million people engaged in construction and business from outside live there year in and year out. Within this small city covering only 1,105 square kilometers, there are 6,000 permanent foreign merchans from more than 100 countries and regions in the world going there to stock commodities and 566 representative offices of overseas companies approved to be established there in Yiwu.
Usually, an army of over 200,000 purchasers send out commodities to 212 counttries and regions at an average scale of more than 1,000 international standard containers there each day. Without an advantaged geographical location as well as abundant products, Yiwu's comprehensive development level ranked the 17th among the top 100 counties and cities and its urban competitiveness ranked the top among all county-level cities in Zhejiang in 2004. Its percapita GDP achieved US$5,000, its fiscal revenues RMB2.95 billion, and the percapita net incomes of rural residents there RMB6,969. More surprisingly, the possession volume of cars is 26 per hundred households.

Yiwu has developed its unique advantages. The over 100,000 dealers and 200,000 coming-and-going merchants in the market of petty commodities have constituted a huge selling group and a huge buying group respectively.

Along with the sustained economic development of China, petty made-in-China commodities have enjoyed their increasing world competitiveness in the international market. Yiwu has hold this point tightly that during over twenty years, Yiwu has expanded its market of petty commodities eight times, developing from the over 700 stands of cement sheet along the streets in 1982 into the current international trade city.

"Have petty commodities made in Yiwu" is another slogan in the Yiwu market. In recent years, there established two economic development zones at the provincial level in Yiwu, which have fostered 25,000 industrial enterprises. Among the advantageous industries such as knitting socks, clothes, ornaments, handicrafts, toys, cosmetics, zippers and cultural and sport products, quite a few have taken up over one third of the domestic market shares, some representing 60 percent or even higher. Moreover, these industries enjoy their advanced equipments and technologies, thus occupying the international high-end market and boasting a relatively strong international competitiveness.

At present, Yiwu has boasted three state-level industrial bases, namely China Zipper Industrial Base, China Writing Instrument Industrial & Trade Base and China Cosmetic Industrial Base. Nowadays, products "made in Yiwu" have dispersed around every corner of China.

And also, international producing enterprises and suppliers of petty commodities have poured into Yiwu. Among the 500,000 varieties of UN's statistical commodities, 300,000 are available here in Yiwu. In August 2005, UN had its first Purchasing (Information) Center in the Asian-Pacific region set up in Yiwu, which has then joined in the UN purchasing network and become an important materials purchasing base and price data collecting center for UN.

The construction of Yiwu International Trade City has absorbed the designing conception of large international business center. It's equipped with the central air-conditioning, elevated stereo transport network and wide band information network, realizing the standard property management of a three-star hotel. The trade city is also equipped with a special e-commerce system that offers a wide band access to each booth; over 40 percent of the dealers conduct their e-commerce and network television is also available; the website of China Petty Commodity Digital City invested over RMB10 million by the market developer designs web pages for all dealers for free, placing more than 50,000 booths onto the internet with the click rate exceeding 100,000 per day. The website is the largest in the world as far as the volumes of global members and commodities information are concerned, forming a new pattern of the co-development of both material and immaterial markets.

In recent years, there have planned and constructed foreign-oriented institutions such as customs, foreign exchange management and foreign business services center successively in Yiwu. At present, the city boasts 18 financial institutions and 286 financial net points; furthermore, the network payment system has been put into use successfully, thus building up primarily such systems as net shop, net purchase and net promotion.

Yiwu possesses five professional freight markets and opens freight business with over 250 big and middle cities and major international ports around the world. It has five parcel railway expresses and over 20 airlines as well as more than 600 companies engaged in domestic and overseas freight transportation. Eight out of the top 20 global shipping companies have set up their offices in Yiwu. Yiwu customs, established in 2002, provides a full coverage of services from commodity inspection to customs declaration, and it's one of the largest inland customs in China. The international logistic center has been cooperating with the Ningbo Port and Shanghai Port, thus realizing one-station customs clearance and shortening the circulating cycle of foreign trade goods greatly. By now, its function as an "inland port" has been starting to shape up.

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