Shandong ramps up opening-up for high-quality growth

(| Updated : 2024-03-13

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Container ships sail into the harbor at the Qingdao Port of Shandong Port Group. [Photo/VCG]

Advancing high-level opening-up is an essential part of China's goal to propel high-quality development and accelerate the formation of a new development model. The Government Work Report has highlighted "expanding high-level opening-up and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation" as a key task for stabilizing foreign trade and attracting foreign investment, which will help in overcoming various risks and challenges, stabilizing economic growth, and enhancing international competitiveness. The Shandong Province Overseas Market Expansion Action Promotion Conference held in Jinan, capital of Shandong, on Feb 23, also revealed a firm determination to deepen opening-up and expand foreign investment.

In the eyes of Jia Shaoqian, a deputy to the National People's Congress and president of Hisense Group, Chinese enterprises venturing overseas are no longer solely relying on supply chain cost advantages. Instead, they are leveraging their new advantages: high technological content, high added value, and high quality.

Jia cited an example: In 2023, Hisense's overseas sales of TVs priced above $500 increased by 59 percent year-on-year, and the price of Hisense laser TVs even broke through the $5,000 mark. Chinese appliance companies, including Hisense, have dared to compete with global top brands through technological innovation and self-branding, pursuing the blue ocean market in the mid-to-high-end price segment. Jia added, "Chinese enterprises seeking high-end transformation are more resilient when going global and are more capable of gaining competitive advantages."

Jia suggested further increasing support for export tax rebates and strengthening currency swap cooperation and bilateral currency settlement cooperation with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to further promote trade and investment facilitation, boost confidence in export enterprises and provide a strong impetus for foreign trade exports.

Established in 1993, Dishang Group, like the majority of China's garment export enterprises, initially relied on taking orders and OEM manufacturing for survival.

Faced with the increasingly complex international market, the company has grasped the blue ocean market of workwear in recent years, strengthening the research and development of new materials and new technologies while also deepening the application of digital technology to promote product upgrades.

Zhu Lihua, president of Dishang Group, said he hopes that the government will provide more policy support for and pay more attention to traditional foreign trade enterprises so that they can expand domestically and internationally.