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The changing concept of 'Made in China'

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Looking ahead, one of the challenges China's new leadership will face is guiding the country's export-reliant economy through global headwinds. Much of China's extraordinary growth over the past 30 years has been thanks to its manufacturing might.

But times are changing. Our reporter Michelle Xing recently travelled to the city of Yiwu, in Zhejiang Province - better known as the world's factory. She discovered a shift in what it means to be Made in China.

If you want to feel the actual pulse of China's exports, there is no better place to go than the export and production hub of Yiwu. The city's world trade exhibition center counts 70,000 stores which sell everything from toys, accessories to tools and home decor. So how do these products find their way to your local whole sellers around the world? We talked to export company manager Gurnani who helps foreign buyers navigate the small commodity capital of the world.

Panjabi, a wholesaler from Panama freezone, comes to Yiwu twice a year. Gurnani's export company sends him to the market equipped with a translator and all he has to do is to pick what he wants. He also has clients from South America that he helps select products for.

Gurnani also says that demand this year has dropped significantly, especially from countries in Europe and South America.

However on the bright side, demand from countries in the Middle East and North Africa is still holding up.

Anas Omairan, general manager of Tawakul Import & Export Co., said, "Our customers are from many countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Yemen, Egypt. This year is much better than last year, much better. We think next year will be even better."

Al-Mehrek exports to Libya and South Africa. He also says demand will pick up next year, hoping the investment environment will improve.


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