New Opportunities for Export-Oriented Enterprises
On the afternoon of April 16, more than 120 foreign trade enterprises based in Jinhua gathered in the Jinhua International Trade and Investment Seminar. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, orders from overseas companies have decreased significantly. Finding business opportunities during this period in order to prevent risks and overcome difficulties has become a hot issue for online and offline dialogues and exchanges between enterprises and relevant experts.
In order to strengthen the support of export enterprises, the Municipal Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CPIT) signed strategic cooperation agreements with Jinhua Customs and the Jinhua Branch of China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. The agreements guarantee to provide convenient services for enterprises in customs clearance and export insurance. So far, the Municipal CPIT has issued 50 free force majeure proofs related to the pandemic for 41 companies, reaching a total contract value of more than 88 million RMB.
Since the beginning of this year, the municipal CCPIT has been focusing on handling Chinese export commodities brand certificates and free sales certificates for enterprises and promoting the transformation of foreign trade enterprises from a managerial model based on mere production to the creation of local brands supported by standards, certifications, and promotional strategies.
According to last year’s customs statistics, a total of 421.85 billion RMB of imports and exports were registered, including 75.53 bn RMB in imports and exports to African countries, a year-on-year increase of 15.37%. Last year, investment on five major projects in Africa originated from Jinhua, accounting for an investment of 37.134 million USD. As a result of the investment, a total of 49 enterprises were established in Africa, and over 5,200 Africans are currently engaged in commercial activities with Jinhua.
Since 2018, the municipal government and Zhejiang Normal University have held the Jinhua China-Africa Cultural Cooperation Exchange Week and the China-Africa Economic and Trade Forum activities. For two consecutive years, these events have created a new platform for Jinhua’s economic and cultural cooperation with Africa.
Professor Liu Hongwu, dean of the Institute of African Studies at ZNU, conducted an in-depth analysis of the opportunities and risk management of African economic and trade investment. He believes that Africa has multiple advantages in natural resources, potential markets, and multiculturalism. In recent years, with the support of the Belt and Road Initiative, exchange and cooperation in Sino-African economic and trade investments have been frequent, bringing about increasingly prominent results. Foreign trade enterprises should keep up with this trend, effectively coordinate the three forces—government, enterprises and universities—and respond to the risks grasping the new challenges.
Professor Zhao Haoxing, dean of the Research Institute Sino-African Trade at Zhejiang Gongshang University, presented the opportunities, risks, and model innovation of Jinhua-based enterprises entering Africa under the new economic and trade environment. He suggested that foreign trade enterprises should take advantage of the network to focus on talents, brand expansion, and systematic management of supply chains to create a new developmental model for Sino-African trade exchanges. (By Xu Chaohui, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)