Enterprises in Huzhou City of east China’s Zhejiang province are finding new development paths with the support of the local government, as the trade frictions between China and the United States have an impact on the export-oriented economy of the city.
The U.S. has been the largest export market of Huzhou, the trade disputes impose great pressure on the local enterprises, but Huzhou people transformed the pressure into a growth impetus.
“Last year, we didn’t make preparations, so we just passively waited for orders when our clients ran out of orders. But in the first half of this year, we also took multiple measures,” said Qiu Rongquan, Chairman of the board of Zhejiang Taida Miniature Electrical Machinery Co., Ltd.
“As to the difficulties, we should expand our business in multiple channels,” said Yang Baoqing, Chairman of the Board of Zhejiang Hengfeng Top Leisure.
“We can take advantage of the Belt & Road Initiative and we can also sell our products domestically and continue to improve ourselves,” said Mao Rujia, chairman of the board of Dakang Holding Group Co., Ltd.
“Chinese market has great potential,” said Zhang Enjiu, chairman of the board of Jiusheng Board.
“The China-U.S. trade disputes accelerate the transformational development of our company,” said Maoying, general manager of Noblelift Intelligent Equipment Co., Ltd.
Some U.S. cooperative partners of Huzhou’s enterprises also said the trade disputes are affecting the market in North America and they never considered replacing their Chinese partners
“I’m not sure anyone knows hong long the trade war will last, but it will certainly have an impact on the North American market. The consumers will ultimately be the one who pays,” said a delegate of U.S. enterprises.
“We will be a Chinese vendor for the next few years anyway until something drastic happens. So, no we do not expect change at all,” said a U.S. franchiser of Noblelift.
However, last year the situation is different from the present.
“In April and May last year, the trade volume with the U.S. declined sharply. There was an enterprise reducing the number of production lines from 28 to 16 due to the reduction of U.S. orders,” said Ma Xiaohui, Secretary of Party Committee of Huzhou City.
The decline of foreign orders affected circulating capital the most, so Huzhou took measures to make sure the capital chain wouldn’t be broken.
“We actively promoted a full coverage of the credit insurance of the city’s foreign trade enterprises, and developed refinancing service platform for them,” said Qian Hongwen, director of the Office of Financial Affairs under the Huzhou government.
To make sure the enterprises could gain profits, the government also help them to open up diverse markets by leading them to display their products at the international trade fairs and making preferential policies to support them in setting up operation networks in some emerging markets.
In Anji County of Huzhou, the U.S. clients of Dakang Holding Group would rather share most of the additional tariffs so as to continue the cooperation due to the good quality of the products.
According to a person-in-charge of Dakang, the trade volume from the European market increased by 30 percent since the beginning of this year.
At the warehouse, there are chairs worth 20 million U.S. dollars to be exported across the world.
“They will be mainly sent to the U.S., Britain, France and Germany. The colourful paper boxes on the left will be sent to the U.S.,” said Yuan Guowen, vice general manager of Dakang.
Since the beginning of this year, the enterprises in Huzhou have seen a growth in the emerging markets along the Belt & Road and in Europe.
The Huzhou government also inspired the enterprises to promote high-quality development and improve their products and technologies.
“The products and technologies should be irreplaceable. On one hand, the techniques of the products are quite competitive; on the other hand, the products can meet the demands of the market,” said Chen Xiao, dean of Zhejiang Huzhou Reform, Development and Planning Research Institute.
In Changxing County, Noblelift’s second generation Tiangang series of electric products of high added value, have been well received by European clients.
In Tianneng Group, a self-developed production line is being constructed to make advanced lithium batteries, which are popular among foreign clients.
“We improved the global competitiveness of our products by self-dependent innovation. The technical standards have reached international levels,” said Zhang Tianren, chairman of the board of Tianneng Group.
Now the traditional industries in Huzhou are speeding up the transformation from the previous massive economic groups to characteristic industrial clusters that form an industrial chain with high added value.
“When we meet the difficulty, we should improve ourselves, and speed up transformation and enhancement of the capabilities of our enterprises, so that we can remain invincible in the fierce market competitions,” said Ma.
In June this year, Taihu Lake New District was founded in Huzhou, in a bid to build a modern green industrial system like digital economy, new-energy autos and biological medicine and generate a new drive force for the high-quality development of Huzhou’s economy.