Jingdezhen ceramics shine bright under BRI
NANCHANG, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- At an ongoing expo held in Jingdezhen, a world-famous "porcelain capital" in east China's Jiangxi Province, a set of glazed ceramic jars stole the spotlight.
The monochrome porcelain, named Dialogue, was designed by overseas designers and produced by a local ceramic company.
"The series has mixed together Chinese ceramic culture and foreign design, and that is how the series got its name," said Ning Shuqi, foreign trade manager of Wanglong Ceramics Co., Ltd., exhibitor of the products.
The five-day 2023 China Jingdezhen International Ceramic Expo opened Wednesday, welcoming nearly 1,000 enterprises, including more than 360 from overseas.
In 2013, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has not only brought closer people-to-people exchanges among the BRI partners but also boosted trade ties over the past 10 years.
From 2013 to 2022, China's trade in goods with BRI partners increased from 1.04 trillion U.S. dollars to 2.07 trillion U.S. dollars, with average annual growth of around 8 percent.
Ning recalled when the company started its ceramics export business in 2015, he had less than 10 foreign clients. Now, the business has seen over 300 potential clients from 11 countries, including the BRI partner countries such as Panama and Türkiye.
"It is the BRI that has helped bring us an outpour of foreign customers," she said.
Data from Jingdezhen Customs show that since 2013, the average annual growth rate of Jingdezhen's ceramic export volume has exceeded 20 percent. In the first eight months of this year, the city has exported ceramic products worth 106 million yuan (about 15 million U.S. dollars) to BRI partners, accounting for more than half of the city's total export volume of ceramics. Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were among the BRI partner export destinations.
In early October, Jingdezhen's official flagship store opened in Dubai to provide a new platform for cultural exchange and foreign trade for local ceramic companies. So far, 173 ceramic companies based in Jingdezhen have established cooperation with the official flagship store.
"Dubai, as a global trade hub, provides Jingdezhen's ceramic enterprises with easier access to markets in Asia, Africa, and Europe," said Hu Bo, chairman of the Jingdezhen Official Ceramic Flagship Store Operation Management Co., Ltd.
"Thanks to the overseas flagship store, we have received overseas orders from eight countries including the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Singapore," said Lyu Yating, chairperson of Jingdezhen Fuyu Blue and White Linglong Ceramics Co., Ltd.
Boosted by the BRI, the trade channels for Jingdezhen ceramics are expanding.
In September 2018, Jingdezhen launched the first China-Europe freight train service, transporting a large amount of daily-use ceramics to Moscow. In April this year, a container truck loaded with exquisite ceramics left Jingdezhen for Dubai through the pilot market procurement trade mode, which features faster customs clearance and VAT exemption.
"With the expanding of foreign trade channels, Jingdezhen's ceramic enterprises and merchants are able to export their products to the international market more easily, further promoting Chinese ceramic culture to the world," said Liu Zhao, director of Jingdezhen Customs.