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Legends of Wenzhou - a city in exchanges with BRICS countries
【Fonts: Large Medium Small 【Source: 温州市 【Date: 2017.09.05】

The 9th BRICS summit held in Xiamen yesterday stressed the deepening of the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future.

In the exchanges betweenChinaand BRICS countries, Wenzhou has always played an indispensable role . From economic cooperation to cultural exchanges, from "go global" to ""bring in", it is deeply connected with the BRICS countries.

Building bridges for economic and trade cooperation by hosting exhibitions

Recently, Wenzhou Bureau of Commerce is actively organizing enterprises to participate in the 2017 China Machinery Industry Brand Exhibition held inRussiain October. The exhibition will be the first hosted by Wenzhou inRussiaand the third in BRICS countries.

On the Catalogue of Major International Exhibitions 2017 published early this year, key overseas international exhibitions reached an amount of 40, including 7 held in BRICS countries, such as in Mumbai of India, Moscow of Russia and St Paul of Brazil .

The 2016China(India) Trade Fair held in Mumbai of India last December was the 4th one inIndiahosted by Wenzhou.China(India) Trade Fair is expanding its scale and enriching its content, enjoying certain reputation in South  Asia. It is the most professional exhibition hosted byChinainIndia, and also the first exhibition run by Wenzhou in foreign countries. Last December, 95 Wenzhou enterprises participated in the exhibition, with a total number of 236 booths. The products exhibited included mechanical and electrical products, metal products, textiles, garments and glasses, leather suitcases and bags and so on.

According to an official responsible for foreign trade in Wenzhou Bureau of Commerce, as a cluster of manufacturers of light industrial products, Wenzhou has sold its high-quality and inexpensive products to 206 countries and regions around the world, enjoying broad prospects for cooperation with India in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, energy, communications, machinery and others.

In order to help enterprises better develop their markets in Brazil and South America, Wenzhou held the 1st Wenzhou Export Commodities (Brazil) Expo in St Paul of Brazil last September, which attracted more than 7000 businessmen from all over the world. It was the 1st exhibition run by Wenzhou in the South American countries, as well as the 2nd priority exhibition run by Wenzhou overseas.

In addition, at the 2016 Wenzhou Export Commodities (Brazil) Expo, there were 43 Wenzhou enterprises, with a total of 117 booths and $35.5 million cumulative turnover.

In recent years, the municipal government has been encouraging enterprises to “go global” by increasingly organizing enterprises to get involved in overseas exhibitions and providing them with preferential policies of full subsidy for booth fees. The 2017 China Machinery Industry Brand Exhibition to be held in Moscow,Russia, from October 24th to 26th is expected to cover an area of 10000 square meters, with 110 booths and 90 exhibitors so far.

Weaving the fabrics of cultural communication through university exchanges

An Indian yoga university - Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA) traveled northward to Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) to explore innovative combination of yoga and TCM; A Russian professor traveled southward to Wenzhou University (WZU) to facilitate the integration of production, teaching and research; teachers from South African colleges and universities traveled eastward to Wenzhou Vocational & Technical College (WZVTC) to learn intelligent manufacturing technology... More and more frequent and in-depth exchange between colleges and universities in Wenzhou and BRICS countries sow the seeds of Wenzhou culture in those countries.

In June this year, the 3rd International Day of Yoga - 2017 China Wenzhou (Dongtou) Thousand People Celebration of International Yoga Day & Kung Fu Yoga Event was held in Dongtou. At the opening ceremony, WMU and SVYASA signed a memorandum of cooperation with a view to conducting cooperation and communication in setting up courses of acupuncture and ayurvedic, student and teacher exchanges and scientific research.

SVYASA, as the single yoga education and research university approved by Indian government to provide undergraduate program of yoga therapy and yoga, postgraduate program of yoga and doctoral program of yoga, leads the world in scientific research of yoga and yoga health physiotherapy. In the future, SVYASA and WMU will not only carry out innovative cooperation in combining traditional Chinese rehabilitative therapies like acupuncture with Indian ones like yoga, ayurveda, but also push forward exchanges and integration of traditional medicine inChinaandIndia.

In July this year, WZU successfully appointed Sergey Konovalov, professor at National Research University of Samarra, Russia, as a visiting professor. The joining of Professor Sergey Konovalov plays an active and vital role for mechanical disciplines in WZU to improve their scientific research capacity and carry out scientific and technological cooperation, and for the university and its colleges to better combine production, teaching and research. In the future, WZU will launch long-term cooperation with National Research University of Samarra in the aspects of joint PhD. Programs, joint labs and research teams so as to share teaching and research resources in various disciplines.

In August this year, 11 teachers from 7 universities inSouth Africacame to WZVTC to learn intelligent manufacturing technology. That training program pioneered the communication of vocational education between education sectors in Wenzhou and African countries. During the more than 20 day training session, those 11 teachers underwent visits and study, expert lectures, practical exercises and others and had more than 10 courses like “the circuit design of electric system in workstations” and “off-line programming trajectory simulation for industrial robots IRB2600”.

The training program of intelligent manufacturing technology for teachers from colleges and universities in South Africa ushers in cooperation and fusion of industrial manufacturing in China and South Africa, which not only echoes with China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, but also offers an important platform for Chinese enterprises, especially Wenzhou enterprises, to march into the African market in the service of local economic development.

Creating a boom for trade and business via the force of Wenzhouese businessmen

With the slowing pace of economic growth in some countries,Indiahas become a new hot spot for global investors. For Wenzhou, it has maintained close economic and trade cooperation withIndia, which is also its fifth largest export market. Meanwhile, Wenzhou is actively building itself into a pilot city for cross-border e-commerce service inChina, creatively proposing a cross-border e-commerce plan of “One Focus Multiple Districts”and implementing the construction of a cross-border e-commerce platform featuring “Double Services with One  Center". Companies like AOKANG Group and Itenal have joined theIndiamarket and have yielded some fruits.

With the rapid development of the market economy, more and more Wenzhouese businessmen also have gone toRussiato seek development. But due to the lack of platforms, they mostly work on their own without much communication between each other. The founding of Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce inRussia’s Far East of Vladivostok offered them a harbor to communicate and exchange. Since its founding, the chamber has solved many emergencies concerning the policies and regulations ofRussiaand problems they cannot solve by themselves. With the national strategy of "The Belt and Road" in full swing, Wenzhouese businessmen in Russia are transforming and upgrading their trade modes by adopting new ones like e-commerce and discarding traditional ones.

As forBrazil, St Paul is its largest city that concentrates most Wenzhouese businessmen in the country. More and more Wenzhouese businessmen, once engaged in minor businesses at Rua 25 de Março, now turned to standardized and large-scale industrial development, entering more economic fields in addition to the traditional trade of small commodities. Moreover, repaying their homeland has been a wish cherished by many Wenzhouese businessmen. For instance, Sun Huakai and Sun Teying, former President of the Chinese Association in Rio and his sister who were well-known in Rio’s business community, started the project of Atlantic Mall last year, which became the largest single shopping center in Zhejiang.

Compared with western countries, South Africa has relatively fewer Wenzhouese businessmen. But here in South Africa, Wenzhouese businessmen have also created a wonder: more than 90% of them  become bosses after starting their business of clothing, shoes and hats, suitcases and bags and other small commodities. Many of them even own a number of wholesale stores in "Wenzhou Mall", "China Mall", "Dragon City", "China Town" and "China-Mart Mall" in Johannesburg.


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