All the world is watching Wenzhou China. By the numbers…there is a lot to watch.
Since the reform and opening to the outside world, Wenzhou achieved great success in its economy and society. From 1978 to 2011, its gross product increased from 1.32 billion RMB yuan to 335 billion RMB yuan, with the annual growth rate of 9.5% YOY. The city also extended its construction area from 20 square kilometers to 125 square kilometers and people’s living standard keeps improving. From 1978 to 2006, the total retail amount of commodities increased from 510 million RMB yuan to 77.9 billion RMB yuan, with the annual growth rate of 18.8%; the net income per capita in rural areas increased from 113.5 RMB yuan to 7,543 RMB yuan, with the annual growth rate of 16.3%. The per capita disposable income of the urban area grew from 42,264 yuan in 1981 to 21,716 yuan in 2006, with the annual growth rate of 16.5%. The city also steps further in opening to the outside world. The total export value reaches US $8.08 billion in 2006, and the actual utilization of foreign investment reaches US $463 million. The rapid economic growth over the past 20 years and the richly featured economic development are the focus of world attention. Wenzhou is reputed at home and abroad as one of the regions with the greatest economic vitality in China.
Opening to the UNITED STATES of America
Wenzhou is one of China coastal cities opening to the outside world. Currently, it has 5 coastal counties (cities), one national-level development zone and twelve provincial-level developed zones, and over 100 square kilometers for development zones, which has basically create a good environment for the investment and business
Environment and Resources
The whole terrain of Wenzhou inclines like a ladder from southwest to northeast. It has Ou River, Feiyun River and Ao River. The eastern plain is full of rivers. With 436 islands and twisted coastline, it has good natural ports such as Paishi and Yueqing Bay.
The mineral resources are more than 30 metal minerals such as zinc, copper, aluminium, manganese, tin, molybdenum, silver and iron, and nonmetal minerals such as potassium alum, ellite, pyrophyllite, kaolite, fluorite, quallzite and granite. The potassium alum reserves account for 80 percent of the nation’s total, so the city has been called “the potassium alum capital of the world”, while the granite reserves are among the top in the country in quality and variety.
Transportation and Communication
The ocean and land transportation systems in Wenzhou are complete and smooth. This city has already become one of 45 Highway Main Hub Cities in China. Wenzhou port is one of 25 main ports in China. With 355km length of coastline, it has 246 berths, of which there are 9 over 10,000-ton deepwater berths. Zhuangyuan Ao deepwater harbor can build 25 over 10,000-ton deepwater berths. With the natural depth of 15 m at the entrance of the harbor, 100,000-ton ships can stop there.
Inheriting the superiorities of traditional industries, renovating and upgrading it with high and new technology and spurring on industrial modernization with information technology, Wenzhou has formed a complete industrial production system covering machinery, electricity, chemicals, medicines, shipbuilding, electrical power, building materials, light industrial products and textiles, foodstuffs, tanning, plastics, warehouse, superior steel and arts and crafts. Many products rank among the brand name, quality, special and new products, of which appliances, shoes, garment, printing and packing, valves and instruments, automobile and motorcycle parts, lighters, glasses, shavers, keys and pen making still enjoy high popularity in the country and even in the world. At present, 32 products have been awarded the national well-known trademarks, 32 products awarded the China famous brands, 136 products awarded examination free status by the nation. Wenzhou has become “China Shoes Capital”, “China Pen-making Centre”, “World’s Glasses Production Base” and “World’s Lighters Kingdom” and other 33 national industrial production bases. 16 enterprises have ranked the top 500 enterprises in the first China enterprise competition. Many of Wenzhou products have high market share in China, including: 20% for shoes, 10% for garment, 50% for glasses, 90% for lighters, 60% for low-voltage electric equipment, 25% for motor parts, 38% for valves, 70% for artificial leather, 33% for electron and 20% for printing industry.
Wenzhou persists in the strategy of giving priority to the development of education. In 2005, there are 1.23 million students in the schools of different types, accounting for 16.4 percent of the city’s total population. The enrollment rate of school-age children reaches 99.6 percent. The city in 2005 has 1,062 primary schools, 350 junior middle schools, 133 senior middle schools, 108 secondary vocational schools and 5 regular institutions of higher learning, including Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou University and Wenzhou Vocational and Technical College.
Wenzhou is reputed as the birthplace of the Southern Opera and the hometown of singers and dancers. The mass cultural activities are extensively developing. The social cultural markets are even more lively, with various song and dance halls, Karaoke halls, video rooms and billiard saloons. The city now has 12 cultural gallery, 303 film showing units, 12 public libraries, with the collection of 2.22 million copies, The newly-built Wenzhou Cultura] and Art Centre has become the visual image of the urban civilization.
Wenzhou is one of the best and key tourist cities in China. It has multitudinous islands, crisscrossing lakes, stretching mountains and fascinating sceneries. With the tourist scenic spots covering 22.2 percent of the total land area, the city boasts 3 state-designated scenic spots of the Yandang Mountain, Nanxi River and the Baizhangji waterfall, 2 state- designated natural protection zones of the Wuyanling Ridge and the Nanji Islands which are known as ” the kingdom of shell and algae” and 9 provincial-designated tourist scenic spots including the Dongtou Islands, the Yaoxi Stream, the Zeya Mountain and the Xianyan Cliff. Wenzhou enjoys the reputation of a “City Famous for Dresses”, a “City Famous for Delicacies” and a “City Famous for Enjoyment”. Now it has 60-odd hotels of over three-star level with golf courses, bowling alleys, theatrical and recreational halls, amusement parks and Wenzhou Garden. With complete tourist facilities and colorful night life, Wenzhou is the paradise of eating, shopping, tourism and recreation in China.
THE NEW Wenzhou
At a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao on March 28, the government announced the creation of a financial reform “pilot zone” in Wenzhou, which will allow private lenders to operate loan companies targeting small- and medium-size enterprises. Long considered a regulatory gray area, the measure has already been lauded as a key reform in brining greater transparency to the industry.
The program also includes measures to which could allow Wenzhou residents to invest directly in overseas financial institutions and policies to support the growth of small rural businesses.
Known for its entrepreneur at the most nascent period of financial reforms, Wenzhou has long been at the forefront of China’s economic developments. Analysts say Wenzhou will again play a pioneering role in China’s market-oriented reforms.
“The proposal covers reforms in financial organizations and institutions, innovation, risk prevention and private finance. The government aims to test the waters through Wenzhou and then accumulate experiences for the nation-wide reform,” said Guo Tianyong, director of the Banking Industry Research Center at Central University of Finance and Economics.
The State Council said the program will also establish a record management system and implement measures to improve accountability among private lenders.
Gu Shengzu, professor of economics at Wuhan University, said that “one of the major points made at the meeting was the need to guide China’s ‘underground’ private financing developments under the sun and in a rational manner.”
Under tight credit controls on banks, the private lending industry has seen a boom in recent years with strong demand from small- and medium-sized enterprises. However, major potential risks have emanated from the industry due to vague regulations and low oversight.
Gu said Wenzhou’s large amount of active private lenders and small businesses are the main reason for the government’s decision to launch the pilot program in the city.
ABOUT THE Author:
William Sickert is tri credentialed in Business, Law and Nutrition and has held top executive positions in Health Care, Bio Technology and Nutraceuticals. Bill was the first to assist industry leader PhytoPharmica as they entered the natural pharmacy market in Southern California. This effort followed an award winning and nationally recognized career in Home Health, Home Infusion and Medically Fragile Child Care. Additional positions as CEO or President included Lignan Research, Penta Water Company, AquaPhotonics, Garden of Life and Barleans Organic Oils.
Bill is a published author in water technology, an award winning legal writer and author of the nutrition specific NutraMinder™. Bill thrives in a fast paced and aggressive growth environment that provides intellectual challenge and exacting product development.