Hangzhou actively works towards internationalization

Hangzhou has been actively working to internationalize and is building warehouses and industrial parks, hosting expos abroad while grooming talents and outsourcing service trade.

The Hangzhou Commission of  Commerce has launched a series of plans to boost development ever since the local government announced plans last year to internationalize the city on all aspects, including politics, economy and culture.

The plans include building five platforms overseas — logistics, industrial parks, expos, talents and outsourcing service trade — to develop the city’s international market.

It is encouraging local enterprises to establish logistics warehouses abroad. Plans are afoot to build around 1,000 warehouses in 50 countries and regions with a total area of more than 200,000 square meters by 2020.

Warehouses are considered vital in developing cross-border e-commerce business. They can solve problems like after-sales service, express delivery, data collection, product promotion and legal rights protection in overseas market.

A couple of leading local companies have already built their own warehouses abroad to cash in on the “Internet plus foreign trade” trend and expand in the international market and upgrade industrial structure from “Made in China” to “Designed by China.”

Hangzhou Nethelp Co, Yonghua Electric Appliance Co, Zhejiang Xinzhou Group and Hangzhou Branch of China Postal and Logistics Co have set up their warehouses in the American cities of California, Chicago, Los Angeles and New Jersey.

Others have built logistics platforms in Canada, Australia, Germany, Holland, France, Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Ghana. Smart management system and big data technology are used in developing these overseas spots.

In order to create the cluster effect and attract more outbound investment, the commission also supported local companies' bid to construct industrial parks in other countries.

In August, Holley Group and Futong Group cooperated with a Mexican enterprise and established the first Chinese industrial park in Mexico. It is the second overseas industrial park set up by Hangzhou companies. The first one was in Thailand.

These industrial parks are expected to play an important role in upgrading economic structure. Domestic light industry like textile enterprises would be transferred there, and foreign companies will base their factories in the park.

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The commission will subsidize local companies that invest in these industrial parks. Also, new financial aid policies and reward systems will be offered in return for setting up more such parks.

By 2020, the outbound investment is expected to reach US$3.2 billion and the accumulated Sino-foreign joint turnover will touch US$6 billion.

The internationalization strategy cannot be achieved without a platform to showcase products, and expos are considered the best medium to display and promote the companies’ image.

To help local enterprises in promoting their products, the Hangzhou  Commission of Commerce has hosted expos overseas. The biggest of such expos was held in Turkey — the first one in 2015. The scale and trade volume of the Turkey expo has kept growing over the years. Last year, the total turnover was US$1.85 million, up 20 percent year-on-year.

This year, more than 10,000 products from 92 Hangzhou local companies were showcased at the expo, attracting around 15,000 Turkish buyers who negotiated on the spot. Furniture, home textiles, kitchen and bathroom products were the most popular items.

Ever since President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Maritime Silk Road initiatives in 2013, Hangzhou and countries along the ancient routes haves launched a series of cooperative projects.

This year, more expos will be held in the Belt and Road countries. Cooperative expos will be in India, Jordan and South Africa, while independent ones are planned in Poland, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. The total exhibition space will cover more than 130,000 square meters with 6,500 booths.

Hangzhou will develop 10 top-notch expo brands in other countries and the annual overseas expo number will increase to 10,000 by 2020.

The city has for years been a magnet for overseas companies that want to outsourcing service. It has also strived to create a reputation as a model city for China's service outsourcing sector.

This is the 8th year that the city held the China Outsourcing Summit. Hundreds of international buyers, service suppliers, government officials and experts in outsourcing field gathered in Hangzhou to share their expertise and experience in the sector.

Within eight years, the industrial value of Hangzhou's service outsourcing industry has expanded rapidly. There are more than 1,400 outsourcing enterprises based in Hangzhou, employing more than 350,000 staff.

The city's outsourcing business covers software development, financial services, telecom research, pharmaceutical research and development and animation design.

By the end of 2020, offshore service outsourcing contracted value will reach US$8.4 billion, increasing 10 percent year-on-year. Goods and service trade value is expected to reach US$30 billion.

Building the platforms needs talents. The city is considering offering subsidies to Master’s and PhD degree holders and keep them in the city’s talent pool. About 70,000 college graduates stay or come to Hangzhou every year.

The commission plans to cooperate with Hangzhou Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Science and Technology Commission, Returned Overseas Chinese Federation and Talents Service Center to build a talent base, providing the city’s internationalization development with the best minds.

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