Medium-sized port cities show competitiveness in international trade

First-tier cities maintain leading comprehensive competitiveness on the Belt and Road international trade pivot cities ranking list, while medium-sized port cities show great potential, said a report issued in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, on Monday.

The report compiled by Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China , was issued at the 2016 Silk Road Economic Belt Cities International Forum. The report has established an evaluation system of the Belt and Road international trade pivot cities, to monitor the international trade competitiveness of domestic cities along the Belt and Road route with considerable economic scale, international trade volume and regional advantage.

According to the report, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Tianjin are ranked top five of the trade pivot city list among the four municipalities, 333 prefecture-level cities and top hundred counties in China, which is in accordance with the cities' economic development level.

Infrastructure construction, regional advantage and international trade environment are key factors of the competitiveness of the Belt and Road international trade pivot cities, says the report.

On a sub-list that evaluates the development potential of domestic cities along the Belt and Road route, the top ten cities are middle-sized port cities or coastal cities near trade ports, which shows the regional advantage in international trade along the Belt and Road route.

Yiwu, a county-level city with a registered population of less than one million people, ranks third on the potential list.

"Yiwu is one of the cities that promote the Belt and Road initiative fastest," said Wang Wen, executive director of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China

As the world's biggest small commodities wholesale market, Yiwu's international trade is extraordinarily prosperous. According to Sheng Qiuping, secretary of Yiwu Party Committee, the Yiwu population of businessmen from all over the country and world is about twice of the population of local residents. The city's export volume grew 43 percent year on year to $33.8 billion last year despite sluggish global trade.

The Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe freight rail line that opened in October 2014 has become the new transportation advantage of this city.

"As the frequency of Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe rail line further increases, the connection and service function of Zhejiang province and Yiwu city along the Belt and Road route will be more prominent," said Gao Xingfu, vice-governor of Zhejiang province at the forum.

Editor: Li Jing