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Yiwu focuses on innovation to boost int'l trade: report


19:37, April 12, 2013

BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Yiwu, in east China's Zhejiang Province, will possibly implement financial reform schemes in the middle of the year as it looks to improve global trade, the China Securities Journal reported Friday.

More than 1.7 million small commodities, mostly consumer goods, are sold to the world from the city each year.

As the country's largest wholesale market and distribution center of small commodities, Yiwu is determined to highlight the importance of reform through innovative financial trade development.

The city will establish a bank for international trade financing, as well as boosting Chinese yuan settlements and foreign exchange management, according to the report.

The financial reform is a part of pilot plans relating to finance, land, taxation and customs approved by the State Council, China's cabinet, in 2011, of which total investment was set at more than 198 billion yuan (31.98 billion U.S. dollars).

According to the report, the schemes are expected to attract Chinese and foreign strategic investors.

Innovation will be focused in areas of the financing and credit system of medium-sized and small enterprises, yuan cross-border settlement, foreign exchange operations and private capital management.

Experts quoted in the report said Yiwu's reform plans are based on the city's selling point as a huge low-end market when it comes to world trade. Therefore, currency settlement becomes important in the reform.

Businesses like currency exchanges and money brokers are expected to turn the city into a regional cross-border settlement center for Chinese yuan (RMB), the report said.

The schemes will ease restrictions on yuan related exchange and put export rebates into practice, so as to facilitate more companies in using RMB as a payment method in world trade. They will also accelerate the process of the yuan becoming a transaction and investment currency in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Meanwhile, a large number of individual businesses in Yiwu will benefit from the reform since transactions using RMB and special accounts for foreign exchange settlement, if allowed, will help them dodge the risk in exchange rate fluctuations.

The innovative project also attached great importance to standardizing local private financing, the report said.

The banking industry in Yiwu started providing special financial support to small companies amid reports of surging bankruptcies in the private sector, which has had troubles in earning profits and grappling with surging costs, as well as tightening credit since 2011.

Yiwu now has more than 20 banks, which were set up to explore more effective ways to attract investors and support local companies, especially foreign trade businesses.

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