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Private Businesses Becoming Big Exporters
Private businesses, which had to use Stated-owned enterprises as a bridge when trading with foreign companies, are now rising stars of exports in China.

Yanzhong Trade Co. Ltd., based in east China's Zhejiang Province, is the first private company involved in logistics in China. The company, with a registered capital of five million yuan (602,400 U.S. dollars), exported fabrics worth 10 million U.S. dollars last year.

The company is aiming to explore the South America market this year, said Lu Tianming, the company's representative attending the East China Export and Import Commodity Fair 2002, which opened last Friday in Shanghai.

"Some companies from the Middle East at the Fair have expressed the hope of cooperating with our company," he said.

The company's export business in America and Europe was affected after the September 11 incident. But Lu said that this year's business would be better than last year, judging from the results of the first two months of 2002.

Zhejiang boasts one of the most vigorous private economies in China. One fourth of the 23 billion U.S. dollars-worth of the province's exports came from the private sector in 2001.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation did not grant Zhenjiang's private businesses import-export licenses until 1999.

Private businesses will play a positive role in enhancing China's exports, said Wang Yaotian, a specialist in WTO issues.

The fair, which has been held annually since 1991, is China's largest regional export and import commodity fair. Contracts resulting from the fair, which was attended by about 10,000 domestic and foreign business people, reached a record 1.532 billion U.S. dollars-worth in 2001.

The 2002 event has attracted some 600 domestic and foreign businesses, and features three categories of exhibits -- garments, light industrial products and technology.

East China is one of the most developed regions in the country, with its industrial output totaling 2.6 trillion yuan in 2001.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2002)

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