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Shandong enterprises eye import, export opportunities in BRI markets

ByZhao Ruixue in Jinan|China Daily Updated:2019-09-04

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The Belt & Road Brand Expo in Shanghai, June 30, 2018. [Photo/IC]

The markets involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have become a new growth hub for the foreign trade sector in East China's Shandong province as many enterprises are looking for diverse markets as part of efforts to cushion the pressure coming from trade tensions between China and the United States.

The trade potential between Shandong and the BRI economies is rising and has become a new engine to power foreign trade in the province, said Shao Bai, head of Qingdao Customs.

Imports and exports by the province generated with BRI economies during the first half of this year reached 278.66 billion yuan ($38.8 billion), a year-on-year increase of 20.2 percent and accounting for 28.7 percent of the province's total foreign trade.

Small-and medium-sized enterprises hurt by higher US import tariffs are embracing the change and new strategies to thrive by exploring more overseas markets, said Xu Yuxiu of the Shandong Group Work Win Co Ltd, a company located in Weifang which focuses on helping SMEs expand through an online network.

A report from the company showed that since last September when the China-US trade dispute began, more than 4,000 enterprises have used the online network platform to expand in markets in the BRI economies, the European Union and Southeast Asia.

Many enterprises are using their technologies to make customized commodity products geared to local conditions, said Xu.

Heng'an Radiator Co Ltd is one of the enterprises converting problems into opportunities, said Xu, who added the company has upgraded its heat exchangers to meet customer demand in Pakistan, Russia and Egypt.

Local governments are also carrying out a series of measures such as integrated customs, tax, finance, foreign exchanges and credit insurance to support enterprises in maintaining their foreign trade.

Years of effort spent on upgrading the economic structure and replacing the old growth drivers with the new drivers that are innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly have also boosted Shandong's exports, said Zhao Fengjie, deputy head of Jinan Customs.

Statistics showed that among exports in the first half of this year, life science and technology-featured products generated a year-on-year increase of 9.8 percent, electronic products jumped by 27.7 percent, computer integrated manufacturing technology products climbed 26.7 percent and aerospace technology products soared by 130 percent.

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