City News Briefs – April 2014

Foreign Affairs

MoU Signed between Ningbo Museum of Art and Russian Art Institute

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ningbo Museum of Art and the Moscow State Academic Art Institute was signed at the end of February. The agreement will further deepen cooperation between Russia and China’s state-level arts programs. Following the agreement, the two parties will carry out five cultural and academic exchange programs.

Business

Postal Industry Revenue Hits USD 484.6 Million in 2013

Ningbo’s postal industry delivered over 165 million parcels last year, up more than 40% from 2012 according to statistics from the Conference of Ningbo Postal Management. Revenues for the industry added up to USD 484.6 million, an increase of 30$ on the year. The figures put Ningbo’s courier industry at 10th in the nation in terms of revenue. The city currently has plans to expand services into rural areas and has set up 2,335 post offices in these areas.

Unilever Takes Stock in Ningbo’s Qinyuan Group

Consumer goods giant Unilever announced that it has purchased a majority share of Qinyuan Group. The company, based in Ningbo, is one of the country’s biggest water purification enterprises. The acquisition is a strategic move for Unilever as China’s water purification market has grown by more than 20% in the last three years alone.

City Promises to Increase Imports/Exports in 2014

In a conference regarding International Trade Promotion, Mayor Lu Ziyue announced the city’s intentions to boost imports and exports this year. Mayor Lu highlighted the importance of “improving both quality and quality of local exports and imports while promoting the integration of local industry and international trade”. Vice Mayor Hong Jiaxiang was also in attendance.

“E-Business City” Opens for Business

Ningbo’s “E-Business City” opened on February 27, and in order to make good on the local government’s promise to support the healthy development of the e-business sector still plans on expansion in the coming months and years. Ningbo Jiangbei E-Business City will be nearly 19 km2 and is set to have “a city, a district and a center,” and is designed to support the high-end e-business industry.

Local Garment Industry Booms Following 24th East China Fair

Despite a still-gloomy global economic outlook, local garment factories are now experiencing a backflow of garment-processing orders on the heels of the 24th East China Fair. The fair began March 1 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, and showed off the manufacturing prowess of many Ningbo garment companies. The orders mark a shift back to China after American and European companies had taken to ordering garments from Southeast Asian countries instead of China in recent years.

Chairman of Ningbo Joyson Electronics Becomes City’s Latest Billionaire

Local automotive accessories producer Ningbo Joyson Electronics has nearly doubled its value since January of this year, making its chairman Wang Jianfeng a billionaire in the process. The company acquired Germany’s Preh GmbH and has since been able to expand into the European market as well as localize many of the company’s products and technologies.

Exports of Sports Goods From Ningbo to Brazil Surging Ahead of World Cup

According to statistics released by Ningbo Customs, the export of sports goods from Ningbo to Brazil exceeded RMB 5.3 million in January alone, an increase of 73.5%. “In the past, our Brazilian clients started to place orders in April. Thanks to the World Cup this year, many of out regular clients have started in this month,” said Li Ke,from Ningbo Ninglong Handicrafts Company in January.

CPI Growth Hits Six-Month Low in February

During February, Ningbo’s consumer pricing index (CPI), grew by 2% on the year. The growth is 0.7% down from January and the slowest pace of growth in the category in half a year.  The CPI is the main indicator used by economists to gauge inflation. Food prices grew by 2.2% overall, while the fall of international crude oil prices caused a decrease in the price of fuel in Ningbo.

11th China International Stationary and Gifts Expo Held

From March 27-29, the 11th China International Stationery & Gifts Exposition (CNISE 2014) was held at Ningbo International Conference and Exhibition Center. The CNISE is one of the largest exhibitions of stationary and office supplies in China, with an estimated 28,000 visitors visiting over 1400 booths. The aim of the fair is to provide high-quality, professional trading platform for businesses in the stationary and office supplies industry.

Travel & Tourism

Yinzhou’s Romon Amusement Park to Open in October

The Romon Amusement Park built in Yinzhou District is set to open to the public in October of this year. The park, which is being built with an investment of RMB 10 billion, will feature a theme park, a Hilton Garden Hotel, a shopping mall, commercial center and an apartment hotel. The park has been praised as Ningbo’s “Indoor Disneyland,” by some.

New Bridge to Cut Driving Time Between Ningbo and Shanghai

Relevant government departments granted approval in March to plans for a proposed second bridge across the Hangzhou Bay. The bridge, which will span 66 kilometers, will reduce the time it takes to drive from Ningbo to Shanghai to less than two hours. The driving distance will be reduced from 200 kilometers to 160 kilometers, in an ongoing effort to link the cities of the Yangtze River Delta.

Events

200 More Public Bicycle Stations on the Way

Due to the overwhelming success of Ningbo’s public bicycle system, the Ningbo Passenger Transportation Administration Bureau has just announced that it will build an additional 200 rental stations. With these stations come an additional 15,000 bicycles. The city will introduce a donations program wherein individuals or businesses can gift bikes to the system and have their name or logo placed onto the bicycle.

Sanmen Bay Bridge to Open by 2018

The new Sanmen Bay Bridge, which starts from Daigang Port of Xiangshan County, linking the Xiangshan Port Bridge (already open), across Maoyang, Yuejingyang, Long Street of Ninghai County and Shepan island, and ends at Liu’ao of Sanmen Count has been approved by the transportation department and is expected to open to traffic by 2018. The bridge will help to increase the speed at which people and freight can move between Ningbo’s downtown and southern Ninghai.

City to Build Four New Expressways by 2030

Ningbo will add four new expressways by the end of 2030, extending city’s total expressway length to 1,023 kilometers, according to the Transport Committee of Ningbo Municipality. The roads include a No.2 Expressway for the Hangzhou Bay Sea-Crossing Bridge, which will give drivers or bus passengers another option for traveling to Shanghai. Other roads include an expressway to Siming Moutnain, a Hangzhou-Ninbo double-line expressway and an expressway between Cixi and Yuyao.

City to Invest More Than RMB 480 Billion in Public Works Projects

According to a press event held by the Ningbo government, the city will invest more than RMB 480 billion over the course of its next “three-year action plan.” The plan includes 419 projects aimed at pressing issues like urban function enhancement, infrastructure construction, modern industrial training and flood control. The government has set the target for urbanization at 71% at the end of this three-year term.

Flood Season Approaches

Ningbo’s annual flood season should begin in the middle of April, according to local meteorologists. The city’s Municipal Flood Control and Drought Relief Office has alerted local government departments and asked them to strengthen disaster prevention efforts. As of this year, flood control checks have increased in an effort to prevent future disasters.

“Weekend BusConnecting Zhuangshi and Yisi Dai College Launched

A new bus line, number 818, has been put into operation in order to provide a more convenient way for teachers and students at Yisi Dai College, a subsidiary of the Zhejiang Fashion Institute of Technology, to move around. According to Ningbo’s new plan to try and perfect the public transportation system in the city, passengers are encouraged to suggest things like operational frequency, new routes and other ideas related to transportation.

City Begins New Cooperation Initiative with Zhejiang University

In March, Ningbo began its “9211 Special Talent Support Progam,” which intends to deepen cooperation between the city and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. 17 of Zhejiang University’s top scholars were appointed in the first round of professors coming to live and work in Ningbo. Also included in the initiative is a plan for temporary positions in Zhejiang University to be served by Ningbo officials.

Enactus UNNC Undertakes Local Public Benefit Projects

The work of Enactus UNNC has garnered much attention and praise since its inception in September 2007. The non-profit student-run organization now has 174 members hailing from seven different countries. Over the years, the group has carried out many successful projects which have benefited a total of 12,944 people in and around Ningbo.

American Schools Come to Ningbo to Recruit Students

Legenda Education Group, an education institution from the United States, held its “Exhibition of American Colleges and Universities 2014″ at Ningbo Foreign Language School on March 13. Nearly 100 parents and 500 students attended the fair, which featured a number of top universities in the United States. The Council of International Schools also visited Ningbo on March 21, representing more than 20 American universities.

Hotel News

Ningbo Marriot Hotel Holds “Taste of Southeast Asia” Promotion

From March 1 through April 30, Ningbo Marriot Hotel will hold a “Taste of Southeast Asia” promotion, celebrating the diversity of Southeast Asian cuisine. Guests will be treated to food from Thailand, India, Malaysia and Vietnam at the River Café. The hotel is bringing in native chefs in order to present this cuisine as authentically as possible. Tickets to the dinner are RMB 268 per person. Guests can make reservations by calling (86 574) 8908 3277.

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