Connecting Nations, Linking People

Document Sample
Connecting Nations, Linking People Powered By Docstoc
					40 CONNECTING NATIONS, LINKING PEOPLE                                                                                                                                                       CONNECTING NATIONS, LINKING PEOPLE 41

                                                                                                                                he cut-flower industry is flourishing in       expand trade between the PRC and the Mekong
                                                                                                                                Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan in   Region and beyond.
                                                                                                                                the People’s Republic of China (PRC).               The major portions of the NSEC in the PRC and
                                                                                                                             “Our biggest market is Southeast Asia,” says      Thailand have already been completed. A remaining
                                Improved transport links have                                                           Pienne Lam, Vice General Manager of Jin Yuan           section in the PRC toward the Lao PDR border will
                                                                                                                        Flowery Industry Ltd. “We are waiting for the          be completed in 2006, and a section in Lao PDR is
                                  eased the way for trade and                                                           completion of the North-South Economic Corridor        due to be finished by the end of 2007. In addition,
                                                                                                                        (NSEC) because we could then ship our products—        another road link is planned between Kunming and
                               business development for both
                                                                                                                        cut-flowers—to Thailand by a land route.”              the port city of Haiphong in Viet Nam, which
                             domestic and foreign investors in                                                               As one of the leading cut-flower producers/       includes an expressway from Hanoi to Lao Cai that
                                                                                                                        exporters in Kunming, the company air freights         would be completed by 2012.
                                   the PRC’s Yunnan Province                                                            2–3 tons of cut flowers daily to Thailand and Hong          Once the Kunming-Haiphong road link is

                                                                                                                        Kong, China. Products are also flown via Thailand or   completed, trucks can carry container cargo in one
                                                                                                                        Hong Kong, China to the Republic of Korea, Japan,      day. “There will be a dramatic increase in traffic
                                                                                                                        and other Asian countries, and to Russia, the Middle   flows between Kunming and the bordering countries
                                                                                                                        East, Europe, and the United States.                   when the road links are completed,” said Yin

                                                                                                                             Some flowers are transported by land to           Yonglin, Chief of Yunnan’s Division of International
                                                                                                                        Viet Nam. “There are not enough flights, and we        Trade and Economic Affairs.
                                                                                                                        would like to cut freight costs,” says Ms. Lam.             Along with the main road links, many feeder
                                                                                                                             The hopes for industrial enterprises are high     roads will be improved, allowing farmers to more
                                                                                                                        both in Yunnan and in neighboring Lao People’s         easily bring their produce to markets in major cities.
                                                    By Tsukasa Maekawa                                                  Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Viet
                                        PRINCIPAL EXTERNAL RELATIONS SPECIALIST
                                                                                                                        Nam—and countries beyond—for increased trade           Tapping International Markets
                                                                                                                        and tourism once the main road links between the       “Farmers were producing only vegetables in
                                                                                                                        southern PRC and neighboring countries are             Kunming before as they did not know how to grow
                                                                                                                        completed.                                             flowers,” says Ms. Lam. Ten years ago, she says, the
                                                                                                                             Under the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic       company thought that the mild and dry climate
                                                                                                                        Cooperation Program (GMS Program), assisted by         might be suitable for growing flowers. It provided
                                                                                                                        the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the 2,000-           farmers with seeds, equipment, and the necessary
                                                                                                                        kilometer road link between Kunming and Bangkok,       skills to grow roses, lilies, carnations, and other
                                                                                                                        Thailand, is being upgraded.                           flowers. “Now we can sell them at international
                                                                                                                             Given the good road network from Bangkok to       markets,” she says.
                                                                                                                        Singapore and Kunming to Beijing, the NSEC will              The company’s exports have since expanded
                                                                                  The biggest market
                                                                                  for cut-flowers
                                                                                                                        reduce transport costs from the PRC capital to the     rapidly: in 2005, the company expects to ship 1 billion

                                                                                                        Richie Abrina
                                                                                  produced in Kunming                   tip of the Malay Peninsula; improve the ease of        yuan ($120 million) worth of flowers from 700
                                                                                  is Southeast Asia                     movement of people, vehicles, and goods; and           million yuan in 2004, and 500 million yuan in 2003.
42 CONNECTING NATIONS, LINKING PEOPLE                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CONNECTING NATIONS, LINKING PEOPLE 43

     “We are very hopeful that the flower industry                                                        “Obviously, the completion of the Corridor will                                                                              wealthier and can afford diamonds,” says General

                                                       Richie Abrina
will boom further in the next several years as the                                                    provide an important option for transporting silver                                                                              Manager Daniel Gaspar.
quality of products improves and better road links                                                    and gold,” said Wang Yu Yun, one of the                                                                                               Mr. Gaspar says abundant cheap but quality
reduce transportation costs,” says Ms. Lam. The                                                       company’s managers.                                                                                                              labor, a good access road to an international airport,
company’s business now has 170 farming house-                                                                                                                                                                                          regular flights to the major markets, and good
holds and 5,000 people involved in Kunming.                                                           Yunnan Reaps Economic Rewards                                                                                                    services provided by the local government for
     As the PRC economy grows, incomes increase,                                                      The copper and flower industries are only two of                                                                                 foreign investors encourage them to stay in
and more people are able to afford flowers, the                                                       many major industries that have been supporting                                                                                  Kunming.
company will consider expanding its business to the                                                   the high economic growth of Yunnan Province.
domestic PRC market.                                                                                  Fueled by exports and strong domestic consump-
     Growing flowers is one of 39 leading industries                                                  tion, the province has been showing an 8–10%
in Yunnan: the others include tobacco, minerals,                                                      annual economic growth rate since 1992, when the
nonferrous metals, chemicals, electric power,                                                         GMS Program started. Before 1992, trade had been
medicines, foods, agriculture, and tourism.                                                           expanding moderately. The entry of the PRC into the
Yunnan Copper Industry (Group) Import/Export                                                          World Trade Organization in late 2001 has also
Corporation, the third largest copper company in                                                      helped boost trade.
the PRC, is one of the companies that hopes to                                                             Yunnan’s overall trade has been steadily expand-
expand its shipment route when the NSEC is                                                            ing from $2 billion in 2001 to more than $3 billion
completed.                                                                                            in 2004. Its trade with three border countries—Lao
     In addition to producing copper for domestic                                                     PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam—has especially
consumption, the company exports silver and gold                                                      soared: trade with the Lao PDR shot up 75%; trade
to Thailand via the ports of Fengcheng and                                                            with Myanmar rose 15% in the first 11 months of

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Richie Abrina (x2)
Zhanjiang in neighboring provinces east of Yunnan.                                                    2004 against a year earlier; and trade with Viet Nam                                                                                                                    Local farmers are
                                                                                                      jumped 48% in the same period.                                                                                                                                          being trained in
                                                                                                           Foreign direct investment in Yunnan has been                                                                                                                       growing flowers
                                                                                                                                                               Flowers: an industry
                                                                                                      increasing, especially in the areas of agriculture and
                                                                                                                                                               with lots of promise
We are very hopeful that the flower                                                                   manufacturing. “Yunnan is open to foreign direct
industry will boom further in the                                                                     investment. It has simplified approval procedures,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       There will be a dramatic increase in
                                                                                                      created a system to deal with business disputes with
next several years as the quality of                                                                  foreign investors, and created a better environment      Belgian businessman. Kunming Pyramid Diamond                            traffic flows between Kunming and
products improves and better road                                                                     for them,” says Bao Wentao, Deputy Director of           Processing Co., which was established in Kunming                        the bordering countries when the
links reduce transportation costs                                                                     Yunnan Province’s Division of Foreign Investment         in 1995, has been exporting polished diamonds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       road links are completed
                                                                       The cut-flower industry in
                                                                                                      Administration.                                          back to Thailand, and to Belgium.
—Pienne Lam, Vice General Manager of Jin Yuan                          Kunming is creating new jobs        One unique foreign investment has been made             “We are now planning to tap the PRC market.                         —Yin Yonglin, Chief of Yunnan’s Division of International Trade
 Flowery Industry Ltd                                                                                 by a Thai diamond processing company owned by a          The PRC has huge potential as people are getting                         and Economic Affairs

Shared By: