Town of Southwest Zhejiang Spotlights on the International Stage Transformation & Upgrading of Foreign Trade in Longquan Achieved Positive Results
Longquan City is a county-level city hosted by Lishui City, Zhejiang Province, situated in the southwest of Zhejiang and the border of Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces, adjacent to the Wenzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone to the east and Wuyi Mountain National Scenic Area to the west. It is the major passageway connecting Zhejiang Province with Jiangxi and Fujian, known as "thoroughfare of Jinhua City, Wenzhou City and Fujian Province" "Posting-Horse Thoroughfare & Traveling Merchant Vital Passage", and has always been an important town of commerce in the neighboring areas of Zhejiang, Fujian, and Jiangxi.
Longquan has been enjoying cultural prosperity since the ancient time. It is the famous city of porcelain, and the state of sword, but also the birthplace of cultivated mushrooms in the world, the first township of ganoderma lucidum in China. With forest coverage rate of 84.2%, the city is a national ecological demonstration zone, national forest city, Zhejiang Provincial ecological city and Zhejiang Provincial garden city, and known as Longquan the Best in the Ten Counties of Chuzhou in ancient times.
With the opening to traffic of Lishui-Longquan Highway and Longquan-Qingyuan Highway, and the imminent opening to traffic of Longquan-Pucheng Highway, Longquan has entered the era of "new highway" and imminent "new high-speed rail", becoming important "node" integrating into the Yangtze River Delta on the north, and undertaking the function of west-strait economic zone.
Since the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Longquan City has been taking the initiative to adapt to the green rise strategy, and sticks to the green ecological development strategy, so that the industrial development speed and quality and efficiency are improved significantly, and the eco-industrial system is initially established.
As the demonstration pilot county for transformation and upgrading of foreign trade, Longquan has achieved positive results by fully leveraging two kinds of markets and resources, successfully tackling all the difficulties and challenges, and accelerating the transformation and upgrading of foreign trade.
Foreign Trade Industrial Pattern Has Taken Shape
By 2015, the city's industrial output value had exceeded RMB20 billion Yuan, and realized industrial added value of RMB3.69 billion Yuan. The city's exports increased by 21.53% in average over the three-year period of 2013-2015, ranking No.10 in the province, and No.3 in Lishui City for three consecutive years. Its products are exported to countries of six continents including Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The products exported from Longquan mainly include the machinery products, and bamboo-based products, among which the machinery products consist mainly of the automobile air-conditioner parts and metal products, and account for 49.68% of the exports in 2015, the exports of bamboo products accounted for 30.78% of the yearly export.
Automobile (air-conditioner) components manufacturing has strong competitive edge. The automobile air-conditioner industry in Longquan started in the 1990s, and the automobile air-conditioner parts industry was listed as one of the prioritized cultivating industry in 2002 according to the "second start-up" development strategy of Longquan; in the years of 2006-2009, the industry realized a historic leap from RMB1 billion Yuan to 4.5 billion Yuan, and became the country's only national-level car (air conditioning) components manufacturing base; in 2015, upon approval by the provincial bureau of quality supervision, the Zhejiang Provincial Automobile Air-Conditioner Standardization Technical Committee resided in Longquan, indicating that Longquan has a certain right of say in the national automobile air-conditioner industry.
In recent years, the CPC Municipal Committee and the municipal government put forward the development strategy of ecologically developing city, strengthening city with industry and invigorating city with tourism, and introduced the Longquan City Special Support Policy for Ten-Billion-Scale Industry of Auto Parts and other incentive policies, and gradually formed the industrial advantages and the industry cluster of automobile air-conditioner, and developed into the regional massive economy featuring strong competitiveness at home and abroad, distinctive characteristics, many companies, complete range of products, well-known brands, perfect marketing network, and strong supporting elements.
Prosperous Bamboo Products Industry. Longquan City is one of the 48 key forest districts and counties (cities) in South China, as well as the prioritized afforestation area in south Zhejiang, known as "Immense Forest in South Zhejiang". The city has woodland of 3.812 million mu, and forest stock volume of 14.56 million cubic meters; bamboo forest of 551,000 mu, with an annual output of 10 million bamboo, ranking second in the province. The abundant bamboo resources provide natural resource advantages for the development of wood products industry in the city of Longquan.
After recent years of development, the bamboo products industry of Longquan has formed into the specialized product structure of Four Boards, One Umbrella, Furniture & Toys, and Bamboo Mats, awarded with the honorary titles of the China Bamboo Outdoor Leisure Products Industry Base, the Zhejiang Bamboo Umbrella Production Base, and has grown into the domestic largest production gathering place for bamboo sun umbrellas.
Green Agricultural Products Industry Develops Well. Longquan is located in southwest mountainous area in Zhejiang, known as the Immense Forest of Southwest Zhejiang, and with forest coverage rate of 84.2%. The city is located in the source area of three rivers: Oujiang River, Minjiang River, and Wuxijiang River, and enjoys good water quality, less pollution, and good air quality, providing natural place for production of green farm products. In addition, the climate of Longquan shows significant vertical difference with the change with the altitude, but also offers favorable climatic conditions for the agricultural products to grow.
During the "Twelfth Five-year" period, the Longquan City received remarkable cultivation results for dominating industry through the implementation of upgrading and development plan of edible fungus industry. Longquan has been named as the First Township of Ganoderma Lucidum in China", "Ten Main Production Base Counties of Edible Fungus Industry" and the "Home to Black Fungus in China", the "National Advanced County in Construction of Edible Fungus Cultural Industry", and the "National Edible Fungus Cultural Industry Construction Demonstration County". The Longquan Ganoderma Lucidum and the Longquan Spore Powder have been protected by the National Protection of Geographical Indications.
Porcelain and sword industries are full of new vitality. The traditional firing techniques for porcelain and swords in Longquan are globally unique ceramic-type intangible heritage of humanity, and was collected into the world's intangible cultural heritage protection list in 2006; the Longquan sword forging technique belongs to the first batch of national intangible cultural heritages. To make the traditional industry glow new vitality, Longquan actively blends the new technology and new technology into the production of products while inheriting and protecting the traditional manufacturing techniques. Longquan porcelain and Longquan sword are the two cultural treasures of Longquan City. Longquan porcelain is also one of the three main original elements highlighted by the “One Belt and One Road” initiative. In recent years, the modern Longquan household porcelain industry represented by the tea sets, tablewares, and wine sets has shown momentum of vigorous development, not only popular in the domestic market, but also gradually moving toward Japan, the EU and other overseas markets.
Obvious Advantages of Transformation and Upgrading
Robust Growth of Ecological and Cultural Industry. Longquan City is the "dual demonstration area" of national ecological protection and ecological economic development, as well as the province's first batch of eco-industrial development pilot cities. In recent years, Longquan City stuck to the green eco-development path featuring "Beautiful scenery is the gold and silver mines", gave play to the ecological resources of Longquan, and promoted the transformation and upgrading of foreign trade, and expanded the "Two Mountains" transformation channel, and fully developed the ecological economy and cultural industries. The automobile air-conditioner parts, bamboo products and green agricultural products, porcelain and sword cultural industries have been growing robustly, and become the competitive industries for foreign trade export of Longquan.
Well-functioned public service platform. The Zhejiang Provincial automobile air conditioner industry, the Lishui City porcelain industry technology innovation service platform, and the first cross-border e-business incubation center of Lishui City have been completed construction, while the bamboo products science innovation center is under preparatory work. The automobile air-conditioner parts industry service platform is the inspection and testing public service platform under the province's prioritized construction, as well as the foreign trade public service platform of prioritized support. The roles of the two province-level early-warning demonstration sites for foreign trade must be given full play.
Solid Foundation for Enterprise Innovation. The city has 86 science and technology enterprises, accounting for 48.3% of the enterprises above designated size, 44 national high-tech enterprises, 3 provincial regional S&T innovation service centers, 2 provincial technological innovation alliances, and 4 provincial enterprise research institutes. 60% of the enterprises above designated size own independent intellectual property rights. The Zhejiang Provincial Automobile Air-Conditioner Standardization Technical Committee is founded, and has developed national standards for wooden sun umbrella, and participated in the development of standards for porcelain industry and sword industry by the China National Standardization Technical Committee.
Remarkable effect of brand construction. Longquan City is the place where the China automobile (air-conditioner) components manufacturing base, China bamboo outdoor leisure products industry base, and the hometown of Chinese black fungus are located. The Longquan Black Fungus and the Longquan Porcelain have been registered as the certification marks, and the Longquan Ganoderma lucidum and the Longquan spore powder are protected by the National Protection of Geographical Indications. The city has 3 provincial export bases, 1 national key cultural export enterprises, 4 China Time-honored Brands and 15 Zhejiang Time-honored Brands.
New paths to transformation and upgrading. In recent years, the Longquan enterprises displayed their respective abilities, and opened up new paths to foreign trade in exploring the international markets and realizing transformation of foreign trade, e.g. the independent brands overseas agent mode introduced by Santian Company, the sales network mode acquired from US enterprise by the Chuangxin Company, the technical patents and equipment industry alliance mode imported from US enterprise by the Xinjing Company, development of new products and guiding the consumer trend and developing the international market by development of new products by Nengfu Company, promoting the export of cultural products relying on national and provincial key cultural export enterprises by Zheng Shi Sword.
Working Mechanism Keeps Innovating
Strengthen organizational innovation, and promote the construction of pilots. The construction leading group for foreign trade transformation pilot has been set up in Longquan City, who formulates the road map, responsibility agreement, and timetable, implements the system of "monthly consultation, quarterly review, yearly assessment", and strongly boost the construction of transformation and upgrading pilots.
Strengthen the scientific and technological innovation, and promote product upgrading. Encourage and support enterprises to strengthen product research and development, brand building, and quality upgrading guided by the supply-side reform and cored on the scientific and technological innovation, and continue to produce and sell the eco-cultural products that guide the consumption upgrading.
Strengthen the model innovation, and promote the channel upgrading. Encourage and support enterprises to carry out overseas M&A, establish overseas marketing network, overseas public warehouse, cross-border e-business supplier, Internet + foreign trade and other business model innovation to achieve new breakthroughs in foreign trade channels and paths.
Strengthen service innovation, and promote the platform upgrading. Further deepen the construction of three service platforms for scientific innovation of automobile air conditioner, porcelain & sword, and bamboo products, increase policy support, and foster the development of foreign trade intermediary services, and optimize the environment for development of foreign trade.