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Free trade coasts on multilateral ties

Updated: Dec 14, 2020 By ZHONG NAN China Daily Print
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Workers ready construction machinery for overseas shipping at the Lianyungang Port on Dec 7. GENG YUHE/FOR CHINA DAILY

Apart from DIY products, this year's export favorites are hardware, tablet computers, fitness equipment, small appliances and kitchenware, said Xu Xiaobing, an official at Yiwu Customs.

This trend is likely to continue next year, based on the feedback and order schedules of Chinese exporters, he said.

In September alone, Yiwu shipped 29.64 billion yuan worth of goods to global markets, up 15 percent on a yearly basis. The exported goods included 740 million yuan worth of home appliances, up nearly 69 percent year-on-year, according to Yiwu Customs.

Exports included products made by foreign companies in China. For instance, the first batch of 7,000 Tesla Model 3s, manufactured by the US-based maker of electric cars Tesla Inc at its Shanghai plant, arrived in Belgium last month, before being further shipped to Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden, according to information released by the Ministry of Commerce.

Tesla's gigafactory in Shanghai has increased its Model 3 production capacity to 250,000 units a year. Meanwhile, the production line of Tesla Model Y is under construction and scheduled for operations in 2021.

Many global companies such as ABB, BASF, Volvo Cars, Honeywell, Cargill and General Electric have all pledged to either enhance productivity or export more products made at their factories in China over the next several years. They are all satisfied with China's enhanced efforts in fighting the contagion and its strong commitment to continuous opening-up.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, or ADM, a US-based grain trader and processor, is currently building a raw-food material plant in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, to supply raw materials and other products to the Asia-Pacific market.

When the Zhejiang plant is completed in 2021, the company will not only target China but also export products to the entire Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, said Leo Liu, president for the Asia-Pacific region at ADM.

The new facility's business covers the sub-packaging of raw materials, exports of raw materials and finished products, he said.

To mitigate the influences of rising unilateralism and other potential risks, China must continue to upgrade its trade structure, and transition to high value-added trade in high-tech manufacturing and services during its 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), said Yang Weimin, deputy director of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He was speaking at a forum jointly held by China News Service and Tsinghua University in late November.

Despite China's industrial chain facing the pressure of relocation, the stability and competitiveness of the nation's foreign trade industrial chain have not weakened and been further adjusted, said Li Xingqian, director-general of the Ministry of Commerce's department of foreign trade.

Although the current labor-intensive industries are gradually shifting from China to Southeast Asian nations and other countries, they are still highly dependent on Chinese intermediate products and equipment. Most of the industrial chains are still in China, said Chen Bin, executive vice-president of the Beijing-based China Machinery Industry Federation.

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