East China's Zhejiang province will be bolder in reform and opening-up, according to Zhejiang deputies to the 13th National People's Congress.
At the start of this new era, Zhejiang is actively participating in the development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Yangtze River economic belt, and the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Ties between the Czech Republic and Zhejiang are a perfect representation of the province's opening-up over the past few years.
"80 percent of Chinese people in the Czech Republic are from Zhejiang," said Chen Naike, an NPC deputy. In the past, foreigners made money by selling products made in Zhejiang, and now an increasing number of them are setting their sights on the domestic market. China has seen an upsurge in foreign investment and businesses.
Chen said Zhejiang companies are seeking to improve and transform through overseas acquisitions and mergers, as well as industrial cooperation.
Lin Yi, mayor of Yiwu city, a famous commodity distribution hub, has a profound understanding of the importance of the Czech Republic. He said that Zhejiang set up a BRI station in the country last year to carry out exchanges and cooperation. The station will be built into a large complex with logistics, commerce, advanced manufacturing and other comprehensive services.
Yiwu plans to construct a Zhejiang-Czech Republic town to facilitate the import of more European products and to promote bilateral exchanges in multiple areas, according to Lin.
The development of Zhoushan is another reflection of Zhejiang's opening-up. Xia Yongxiang, a deputy from a fishery cooperative in the island city, said the seaports and the inland transport routes are well developed in Zhoushan, conveniently connecting land and sea.
"Furthering the construction of the Zhejiang FTZ is an important task the country has assigned to Zhejiang," said Wen Nuan, deputy director of the province's organization department, who has worked in Zhoushan, where the zone is located, for years.
He proposed building a trade platform in accordance with international regulations and processing bulk commodities like oil products.
The city of Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, the first stop when traveling from Shanghai to Zhejiang, plays an important role in the integration of the Yangtze River delta.
"The biggest advantage of Jiaxing is its proximity to Shanghai," said Sun Jun, a NPC deputy and owner of an agriculture company in Jiaxing.
Sun's company focuses on the application of advanced technologies and develops green and safe agricultural products. Shanghai, a neighbor city, is a lucrative market.
To satisfy the changing needs of consumers in Shanghai, Sun plans to build a processing and cold-chain logistics center to make raw materials into fresh food.
"We'll establish marketing and research offices in Shanghai to investigate local people's shopping preferences and develop products that cater to their tastes," said Sun.