BEIJING, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As the world’s “capital of small commodities,” Yiwu in east China’s Zhejiang Province, has trade relations with more than 230 countries and regions.
The Yiwu International Trade Market has driven the development of 2.1 million small, medium and micro-sized enterprises and is associated with the employment of 32 million people. It is known as the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities.
During an inspection tour to Zhejiang recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed that Yiwu’s small commodities have broken into a big market and become a major industry, when visiting the trade market in Jinhua on September 20.
“Everyone is a participant, builder and contributor,” said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, urging the trade market to contribute more to expanding markets at home and abroad, as well as calling on Zhejiang to take a leading and exemplary role in promoting common prosperity.
Developing trade for high-level opening-up
Data released by China’s General Administration of Customs shows that the total import and export value of trade in goods in the first half of this year was 20.1 trillion yuan (about $2.75 trillion), a year-on-year increase of 2.1 percent. The scale exceeded 20 trillion yuan for the first time.
Private enterprises are still the main force in China’s foreign trade. In the first half of 2023, the number of foreign trade companies engaged in import and export increased by 6.9 percent year-on-year. Among them, the import and export value of private enterprises was 10.59 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.9 percent.
Efforts must be made to encourage and support private enterprises to actively participate in the global industrial division of labor and resource allocation to enhance core competitiveness, Xi stressed during his inspection tour.
After years of development, the China–Europe freight trains, starting from Yiwu and ending in Spain’s Madrid, have entered the track of high-quality development and become a new mode of international transportation that is convenient, fast, safe, stable, green and economical.
Dubbed Yixin’ou in Chinese (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe), the 13,052-km-long cargo line has become an important bridge connecting the Eurasian continent. By the end of July this year, the total number of the freight trains that have traveled on the route exceeded 6,000.
Calling on Zhejiang to continue to write a new chapter in deepening reform and expanding opening-up, Xi urged to plan reforms from a global perspective, and steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards.
In 2021, China issued a guideline supporting Zhejiang to take the lead in establishing a demonstration zone for the promotion of common prosperity nationwide.
From developing private enterprises to advancing rural revitalization, the rich connotation of common prosperity is vividly interpreted in Zhejiang.
Promoting common prosperity through pioneering demonstrations
In June 2003, Zhejiang Province launched the Green Rural Revival Program, with the aim of improving rural production, living and ecological environments, as well as the quality of lives of farmers.
For 20 years, the program has created thousands of beautiful villages, and fundamentally changed the face of the province’s countryside, creating successful experiences for agricultural and rural modernization, as well as successful rural examples for promoting Chinese modernization.
Benefiting from the program, Lizu Village in Jinhua, transformed from a dirty and poor village into a place with an improved environment and prosperous tourism.
When inspecting the village on September 20, Xi learnt that the annual per capita income of the village had reached 52,000 yuan (about $7,250).
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China has seen another year with a bumper summer grain harvest, with the summer grain output totaling 146.13 million tonnes this year.
What’s more, 40 new advantageous and characteristic industrial clusters were established by the end of 2022, along with 50 national modern agricultural and industrial parks, and 200 towns with a strong agricultural sector.
Stressing efforts to concentrate on narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas, as well as addressing disparities in regional development and income, Xi called for advancing rural revitalization across the board and vigorously fostering rural industries with distinctive local features.
“There is much to be explored and plenty of things to be done in advancing rural revitalization,” Xi told villagers, urging them to strive to create a better future of common prosperity.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the strategy of “making full use of eight advantages and implementing eight major measures” in Zhejiang.
The strategy, put forward by Xi in 2003, called on the province to make use of its eight advantages, such as system and mechanism advantages, location and industry advantages, to implement eight major measures for Zhejiang’s development.
Since then, Zhejiang’s economic and social development has made new historical achievements.
Recognizing these accomplishments, Xi called for treating the real economy as the foundation for building a modern industrial system, guiding and supporting traditional industries to accelerate the application of advanced and readily applicable technologies, and promoting high-end, intelligent, and eco-friendly development of the manufacturing sector.