2009-12-02

Yiwu

Yiwu (simplified Chinese: 义乌; pinyin: Yìwū) is a city of about 2,000,000 people in central Zhejiang Province near the central eastern coast of the People's Republic of China.

The city is famous for its small commodity trade and vibrant free markets and is a regional tourist destination. Although administratively Yiwu is a county-level city under the governance of Jinhua, its fame nationally surpasses that of Jinhua, the prefecture-level city of which it is technically under jurisdiction.

Yiwu is located 100 km south of the city of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. The nearest city to Yiwu is Dongyang. The area, as in most of the Province of Zhejiang, is in a mountainous region.

Yiwu is technically part of the greater Municipal region of Jinhua, although it has a distinct urban core. On China's administrative strata it is a sub-prefecture level city. It has under its jurisdiction 15 towns and 8 villages, which covers 1102.8 square kilometers, 15 square kilometers of which are urban area of 650,000 people (2005 estimate). There has been talk of merging the Yiwu and Jinhua areas into a single municipal zone or economic entity, but this plan has yet to make its way into any formal discussion.

Yiwu city is famous for its small commodity trade and vibrant flea markets and is a regional tourist destination. Tens of thousands of Middle Eastern traders make their way to Yiwu every year, accounting for a large percentage of foreigners there.

Yiwu is famous in China as a commodities center. People from all over the world come to Yiwu City to buy commodities for resale in other parts of China or abroad.

Yiwu commodities wholesale market is developed and managed by Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co.,Ltd. Yiwu's China Small-Commodity Market has for 6 consecutive years topped China's 100 top open markets and was for successive years listed as China's civilized open market. It has been named as the banner of China's market economy and with a large variety of quality but cheaper commodities, the market has become a shopping paradise for tourists.

The GDP reached 42.1 billion yuan in 2007, an increase of 15.7% from 2006, and the per capita GDP reached 59,144 yuan (US$7,778). The per capita urban disposable income reached 25,007 yuan and rural pure income 10,255 yuan, increasing 15.9% and 16.4% respectively.

Its 4C-grade airport has opened over a dozen of air routes to such cities as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shantou, Weifang and Shenzhen. The Zhejiang-Jiangxi Railway and Hangzhou-Jinhua Expressway pass through the city, making Yiwu an important local transportation hub. Express trains from Shanghai South Railway Station take less than three hours.

"Yiwu,300 kilometers away form Shanghai, is the largest market of petty commodity wholesales in the world where various foreign buyers go to place orders." Such a depiction comes from Chinese Figures Astonishing the World, a special report co-delivered by the United Nations,the World Bank and Morgan Stanley. In that special report, Yiwu is the only enlisted county economy. And in the choice of "the 2004 Most Favorite Chinese Cities of Domestic and Foreign Public in 2004 ", Yiwu ranked the first among all county-level cities.

In 2008, Eamonn Fingleton wrote: "As documented by the author Tim Phillips. The city of Yiwu functions as a sort of 'Wall Street' for the industry, providing a vast marketplace where, Phillips states, 100,000 counterfeit products are openly traded and 2,000 metric tons of fakes change hands daily."

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