Zhejiang's new-round action plan to foster MNCs

China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-18

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An employee arranges products using a robotic arm at a plant in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, in August. [WANG SHUCHENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Upgraded move to support over 300 players in extending overseas footprint

East China's Zhejiang province has been fostering the growth of its private corporations in a bid to strengthen their global presence.

In 2017, Zhejiang took the lead nationwide in launching a three-year action plan to cultivate local private multinational corporations, aiming to bolster the provincial economy.

In 2020, the province initiated another three-year plan, "Silk Road Navigation", through which companies were encouraged to transform their local headquarters in Zhejiang into global operations centers, management hubs, and research and development centers.

Early this month, a new three-year "Silk Road Navigation" action plan that envisions continuous expansion of local private MNCs was launched.

According to the plan, over 300 companies will be included in the cultivation pool by 2025, accounting for more than 70 percent of Zhejiang's outward direct investment, and some 100 leading enterprises mainly covering advanced manufacturing and modern service industries will be cultivated.

Along with the plan, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce released a list of 60 leading private MNCs for 2023.

The evaluation criteria include four aspects: internationalization capability, industry chain layout, brand influence, and compliance with regulations.

The plan also outlines 10 measures, including building a dynamic mechanism for cultivating private MNCs and guiding their orderly expansion.

The dynamic cultivation mechanism will be established based on a comprehensive review of Zhejiang's private MNCs, with a focus on export-oriented enterprises in manufacturing, trade, digital economy and producer services.

To help private MNCs attain orderly expansion, the plan proposes deepening cooperation with ASEAN, member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and the Belt and Road Initiative partners.

Loctek is on the list unveiled by the local government. Established in 2002 and headquartered in Ningbo, Loctek is an early entrant in the A-share market for the health ergonomics industry, and is currently developing a new business — overseas warehouses.

In 2013, Loctek built its first overseas warehouse in San Francisco and then expanded its footprint to Memphis and Houston in the United States.

The company now operates 13 warehouses globally and plans to build two more in the US that are expected to become operational in 2025.

"We are the largest overseas warehouse operator for bulk e-commerce products in North America, serving nearly 600 cross-border e-commerce brands from China," said Xiang Lehong, the company's chairman.

"I hope that Loctek will create more employment opportunities and help more foreign trade companies achieve high-quality development while it continues to grow," Xiang said.

With subsidiaries in Southeast Asian nations such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, Seduno Group, an importer and exporter of textiles and apparel in Ningbo, is another notable company on the list.

Since the RCEP pact came into effect in 2022, Seduno, Ningbo's first RCEP-approved exporter, has leveraged 3,649 RCEP certificates of origin.

"RCEP has brought us a double benefit: preferential tax rates and approved exporter policy. We will continue to leverage them to achieve more breakthroughs," said Xue Qinfen, manager of the documentation department at Seduno.