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How Chongqing Transforms and Upgrades Foreign Trade

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Jun 04,2021

Six more national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading are located in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, as the licensing ceremony took place in Chongqing on May 31, 2021.

The Ministry of Commerce recently approved a new batch of national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading, including six in Chongqing Municipality. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Chongqing is developing into an important force to facilitate effective growth in general trade and stabilize foreign trade, taking the lead in the number, scale, and development quality of national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading in China’s central and western regions development.

In addition to the above places, there are another seven previously approved bases in Chongqing, namely Fuling District (for pickled mustard tubers), Tongnan District (for lemon growing), Fengdu County (for beef), Rongchang District (for textile), Changshou District (for Western medicine), Bishan District (for autos and related components and parts) and Jiulongpo District (for non-ferrous metals).

They cover multiple categories of products in five major industries of mechanical and electrical products, agricultural products, textiles and garments, medicine, and new materials.

Local Characteristic Products Go Global

Tongnan District (for lemon growing) is one of the first districts and counties approved as national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading in Chongqing.

It was listed into the first batch of national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading announced by the Ministry of Commerce early in 2018.

Under the requirements of the Ministry of Commerce, it is mandatory that only the leading or representative industries can be licensed with their foreign trade volume reaching up to a certain scale.

Taking Tongnan District as an example, it has expanded its lemon sales market further into over 40 countries and regions such as Russia, Cambodia, South Africa, and China’s Hong Kong, accounting for more than 50% of domestic lemon exports.

Tongnan District has expanded its lemon sales market further into over 40 countries and regions. (iChongqing file photo)

Fuling District has also made eye-catching achievements concerning its pickled mustard tubers.

According to the statistics, since 2018, Fuling has sold its characteristic pickles far to more than 50 countries and regions like the EU, the United States, Japan, and China’s Hong Kong, realizing a self-supporting export of 142 million yuan (about 22.3 U.S. dollars).

From January to April 2021, Chongqing Fuling Zhacai Group Co., Ltd. has realized a total export exceeding 16 million yuan, representing a year-on-year increase of 38.39%.

“Currently, the total output of these enterprises licensed as the national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading in Chongqing has exceeded 483.8 billion yuan,” said the relevant responsible person of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce. “The number of base enterprises exceeded 4,100, and the characteristic products’ foreign trade volume reached up to 3,889 million U.S. dollars.”

He added the national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading serve as a great booster for local characteristic products to develop further and go global.

Highly targeted segments

Chongqing’s auto industry mainly agglomerates in Liangjiang New Area, whose foreign trade of autos and related components and parts totaled 15,014 million yuan in 2020.

Meanwhile, Banan District serves as a major base for motorcycle production and export in Chongqing. As a result, the local enterprises have realized over one billion yuan for their total foreign trade volume of motorcycles and related components and parts. 

“National bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading are evidently driving the growth of foreign trade in Chongqing,” said Liu Kan, Director of Foreign Trade Department of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce. He thinks these bases could create nearly 20% of import and export volumes of general trade for Chongqing each year.

Along with the approval and adjustments for the new batch of bases and consequent industrial agglomeration and development, it is hopeful of enlarging Chongqing’s scale of general trade to a further level and advance the overall foreign trade development.

Changan Automobile Smart Factory at Liangjiang New Area. (Photo/ Visual Chongqing)

Perfection and development of supporting policies

Other supporting policies should also catch up to match with the growing number and scale of bases.

At present, Chongqing is actively preparing the new administration measures for national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading to exert their functions better and promote the quality development of foreign trade in the city.

For example, Chongqing will formulate a perfect and special industrial planning for foreign trade development, sort out current inventory and contributions, make scientific plans for base construction with output and question as to its orientations and advance the progress in order and stages.

Chongqing will formulate a perfect and special industrial planning for foreign trade development. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Furthermore, it will utilize the regional brand effect of each base to enhance investment attraction and encourage enterprises at both upstream and downstream industrial chains. This is to gather in regions and industrial parks to reduce development costs and improve international competitiveness.

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