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China's small cities taking giant strides

Last updated on: July 12, 2012 12:55 IST

China's small cities taking giant strides

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K J M Varma in Kunshan

Small cities in China are growing big and better when it come to producing wide range of items from laptops to neckties for the world market.

Kunshan, one of China's smallest cities, produces 40 per cent of world's laptops, its neighbour Shengzhou supplies 40 per cent of global neckties while Yiwu is the world's largest commodity market.

These are the giant strides made by China's small cities and provinces which with innovative ideas and planned industrialisation competing with their big brothers like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to become part of China's rapid development story.

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Image: A migrant worker collects bricks as she carries her child on her back, at a demolition site in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.
Photographs: Reuters

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China's small cities taking giant strides

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Kunshan a city of 930 sq kms and 7.20 lakh population moved to the centre stage of the world in 2010 by producing 88 million laptops of different brands, supplying 50 per cent of the laptops.

Last year, it produced 77 million catering to 40 per cent of global laptops, city's Mayor Lu Jun said while interacting with a group of Beijing-based foreign journalists.

Last year, Kunshan posted a GDP of 243, 23 billion RMB, (about $39 billion), a 15 per cent increase over 2010.
It also posted per capita disposable income of urban resident 35,190 RMB, ($5585) and rural resident, 20212 RMB (about $3208).

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Image: Rowers sit in a 62 metres (203.4 feet) long dragon boat on the Yangtze River in Zigui County, Hubei province.
Photographs: China Daily/Reuters
Tags: RMB , Lu Jun , Kunshan , GDP

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China's small cities taking giant strides

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It is also the home for 'Good Baby', the world biggest manufacturer of prams as well as toy cars.

Located close to China's financial hub Shanghai, it has become a hub for advanced manufacturing industry aided by high and new technology industry, supported by modern service industry, Lu said.

Wary about global down turn in exports, the city is now gearing up to cater for internal market demand by taking up integration of production chain with electronic information and advanced equipment manufacturing, software, flat panel display, computer and network devices and telecommunications.

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Photographs: Reuters
Tags: China , Lu , Shanghai

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China's small cities taking giant strides

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Shengzhou, on the other hand, went for three competitive distinct industries like necktie and garments, electrical and kitchen appliances, machinery and motors.

Its annual necktie annual production capacity totalled 300 million last year accounting for 80 per cent of the domestic output, 40 per cent of world's output.

It is the largest necktie production and processing base, wholesale sales base and export base, Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of the area Jin Zhai said.

The city has been honoured as the 'International Necktie City of 21st century' by the local government.

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Image: A woman walks between buildings at Sanlitun SOHO residential and commercial complex in Beijing.
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters

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China's small cities taking giant strides

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It's home of the world's biggest necktie manufacturer 'Babei', which exports high-class silk ties to US, Europe and Japan.

It also produced 5.5 million sets of kitchen appliances.  

The province is also home for very large base of TV manufacturing with companies like Tianle supplying LED and LCD sets to top companies and retail stories in US and elsewhere, he said.

Another small city that has arrived on the world stage is Yiwu, the trade hub which made headlines in India in recent times for illegal detentions of Indian traders.

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Image: A garbage collector looks for recyclable waste as seagulls look for food at a garbage dump site in Dalian.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters
Tags: LCD , LED , US , Tianle

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Yiwu, a city with size of Hong Kong attracts over two lakh business people and tourists everyday, said Tao Tao, the Vice-Mayor of Yiwu.

Yiwu, is also supplying a vast amount of materials to India which included fancy goods, household items.

It has 62,000 booths and sells 1.7 million commodities.

It also introduced 27,000 different kinds of items from different countries which included incense sticks from Bengaluru.

The city has business ties with 215 countries and regions.

It houses about 13,000 foreign businessmen, including many Indians who are permanently based there.

Last year, it handled 4.22 lakh businessmen from all over the world.


Image: Ethnic Uighur man sleeps in front of posters advertising medical products as an employee talks on her mobile phone at the entrance of a pharmacy in Aksu.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

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