April 8th, 2018 witnessed the launch of 2018 Chongzuo International Nut Industry(Spring) Joint Promotion Conference in Chongzuo City. Located at China-Vietnam boarder, Chongzuo City planned to speed up the development of nut industry and build up processing bases of China-ASEAN characteristic food with enjoying the preferential location, border trade and labor resource of ASEAN-facing land channel.
There were over 200 people participating in the conference including corporation representatives both in and out, international distinguished guests and counsellors or consuls (or vice-consuls) of Iran, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia.
There was a proverb reflecting the advantageous location of Chongzuo City, which is “open the door, you’ll see Vietnam and just take a couple of steps, you’ll set foot in ASEAN.” There are four counties bordering on Vietnam in Chongzuo City. With 533 km. borderline, there are 5 first-class ports, 2 second-class ports and 14 trading points for citizens living in border area in Chongzuo City resulting in Chongzuo City the most-port border city and the largest border trade city. The total foreign trade volume of Chongzuo City in 2017 hit over 20 billion USD, who steadily occupied the first place among cities of Guangxi for several successive years with its small-scale border trade volume ranking first among the cities in China for several consecutive years. Chongzuo City annually imported 300 thousand tons of nuts, over 2 million tons of fruits and plenty of coffee and spice.
Liu Youming, secretary of the Chongzuo Municipal Party Committee and director of standing committee of Chongzuo People's Congress said, as a vital nodal city of Belt & Road south-facing corridor, Chongzuo City provides the most convenient way to ASEAN countries. Chongzuo annually imported a large number of nuts from Vietnam via mutual trade while encouraging and supporting nut plantation. In 2017, Chongzuo City totally imported 251 thousand tons of nuts from Vietnam.
At present, there are over 6 nut-processing enterprises above designated size in Chongzuo City with annual processing capacity of 110 thousand tons. There are 15 nut projects under construction in Chongqing City with introducing some strong nut-processing enterprises to move in, including Golden Firmiana International Fruit Industry Group, Zan Mei Food Co., Ltd., Miao Ke Food Co., Ltd. and Old-Urchin Nut Processing Company. In 2017, the output volume of nut processing in Chongzuo hit 1.982 billion yuan, up by 43.8%.
Wu Qing, chairman of Guangxi Golden Firmiana International Fruit Industry Group said, over 20 nut enterprises both at home and abroad have been introduced in Golden Firmiana international processing base which was one of the biggest nut processing bases in China. Golden Firmiana has developed business ties with dried mango of Cambodian farm and pistachio nuts and dried figs of Iranian farm and now is actively discussing with Vietnam cashew association, Mexico’s Bigenro farm and Australian Hawaii fruit farm.
As Liu Youming put it, the sales volume of nut accounted for about 35% of social retail volume of national snack. Nut market has a bright prospect with its annual growth of over 30%. Thus, Liu welcomed businessmen to seize opportunity and come to Chongzuo for inspection and business negotiation.
Chonzuo City also enjoyed abundant labor resources for nut industry. Apart from luring the local labor resources, Chongzuo city has signed an agreement of cross-border labor service cooperation with Vietnamese Lang Son Province and Cao Bang Province. Foreign border residents can come to China for work for six months with one-time visa. At present, over 50 thousand Vietnamese workers have worked in Chongzuo city.
He Shaowei, director of administrative committee of China-Thailand Chongzuo Industrial Park claimed, with the further implementation of B&R Initiative, Chongzuo City would cooperate with Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos on raw material and cross-border labor service to search and exercise new ways for international production capacity cooperation and build up international plot of production capacity demonstration with the platform of China-Thailand Chongzuo Industrial Park.
Now, China-Thailand Chongzuo Industrial Park has planned 5 thousand mu for ASEAN characteristic food processing base to promot this industry. It is expected that there will be 12 nut- and fruit- processing enterprises being built and put into production by the end of 2018 with over 100 thousand tons of nut processing capacity within 3 years.
In the conference, the state enterprises from Thailand and Vietnam have signed related agreements with Chinese enterprises. What’s more, a batch of cooperation projects like South Nut Industrial Park have been contracted and landed on Chongzuo City.
According to He, China-Thailand Chongzuo Industrial Park will lure investment from large well-known nut- and fruit- processing enterprises and cold chain logistics enterprises. Meanwhile, modern service platform like finance, R&D and sales will be introduced in nut processing base to form a one-stop industry with trade, production, sale and finance, by which the largest scale and the most complete in variety nut comprehensive processing and sales base in Guangxi even in China is gradually established.