Wednesday, May 27, 2009

UAE tops global markets for Chinese small commodities exports

Dubai, UAE, May 27, 2009: Traders from the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities will exhibit in Dubai for the first time next month as emerging economies become increasingly important for Chinese exporters.

Yiwu Fair@Dubai will receive more 200 exhibitors from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, the centre of China’s vast small commodities industry and a beacon for tens of thousands of Middle East traders seeking products to supply to their home markets.

Announcing today the first Yiwu Fair@ Dubai, Mr. Zhu Jingyi, Communications Director of the Organising Committee of China-Yiwu International Commodities Fair, said: “The UAE is now the leading destination for Yiwu small commodities exports, overtaking the United States in 2007. While Western markets are slowing down due to the global recession, strong consumer demand in emerging markets such as the Middle East, India and Russia offer important growth opportunities to Yiwu exporters.”

Mr. Zhu said: “The UAE is a vital hub for emerging markets trade and its economic ties with the city of Yiwu and China as a whole are stronger than ever. That’s why we have taken the decision to stage the first Yiwu Fair@Dubai this year, and we’re confident that exports to Dubai from Yiwu will continue their upward trend.”

Mr. Zhu said: “Dubai and Yiwu have much in common: rapid development, excellent infrastructure, and a liberal and extremely cosmopolitan business environment. Both cities are strategic hubs. Yiwu is the small commodities centre of China and Dubai is the gateway to the Middle East and consumers in emerging markets.”

Despite the downturn, global demand for Chinese small commodities appears robust. Mr. Zhu said that exports from Yiwu to Dubai reached US$2 billion last year while Yiwu’s wholesale market saw turnover increase 14.17 per cent to 11.3 billion yuan (US$1.65 billion) in the first quarter of 2009.

He said: “Yiwu’s strength is its product diversity, from economically priced household goods to jewellery and luxury items. By exhibiting in Dubai, we are providing Middle East-based buyers the opportunity to source from a vast choice of well-made products to serve their home markets.”

Yiwu is located in Zhejiang Province, a manufacturing and business centre along China’s east cost, around 300 kilometres from Shanghai. It covers a total area of 1,105 square kilometers and has a population of two million.

The city dates back more than 2,200 years to the Qing Dynasty. Traditionally a poor farming region, Yiwu has been transformed over the last decade from a provincial trading outpost to the centre of the world’s small commodities industry.

Yiwu is today one of China’s wealthiest business centres with a GDP in 2008 of 49.3 billion yuan (US$7.2 billion). The city exports more than 500,000 containers of products to 215 countries around the world every year, including 100,000 to Dubai.


Yiwu is increasingly famous for its market, which has a staggering 62,000 stalls selling 1.7 million different kinds of small commodities. Yiwu is recognised as a national industrial base for a variety of products including pens, cosmetics, knitwear and handicrafts.

Mr. Zhu said: “A visitor spending three minutes at each stall eight hours a day would need more than a year to tour the entire market. There are more than 2,200 representative offices of overseas companies in Yiwu, including both international retail brands and Middle East traders.”

Yiwu wields such considerable influence in the global small commodities sector that China’s Ministry of Commerce launched the Yiwu-China Small Commodity Index in 2006. The index tracks pricing weekly and monthly across a variety of product categories and monitors dealer confidence.

Mr. Zhu said: “The summer season traditionally sees an upswing in demand. We’re still receiving increasing numbers of foreign business visitors to Yiwu and trade across categories, from jewellery to handicrafts, remains buoyant.”

Yiwu is also an exhibitions centre, hosting 42 different events in 2008. The China-Yiwu International Commodities Fair, held every October, is the third largest commodities fair in China.

Yiwu Fair@Dubai takes place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition from June 14-16. The exhibition is part of China Sourcing Fair Dubai, now in its third year.

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