HEFEI, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Instead of shuttling across exhibition venues around the world as before, Pan Bin, general manager of Anhui San Cunguang Reflective Material Co., Ltd. was busy promoting products to the domestic market through e-commerce platforms.
"We used to export reflective materials to Southeast Asian and European countries, but the overseas orders were all canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we turned our focus to tapping the domestic market," said Pan.
The company was one of the trailblazers in the Yangtze River Delta to make its foray into China's new development pattern known as "dual circulation" that takes the domestic market as the mainstay and allows the domestic and foreign markets to boost each other.
First introduced in May this year, the new development pattern has been placed high on the authorities' agenda. The top leadership of China has recently urged the delta region to take the lead in forming this new development pattern based on its various advantages.
Covering a 358,000-square km expanse, the Yangtze River Delta, consisting of Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui, is one of the most populated and urbanized city clusters in China, contributing one-fourth of the country's gross domestic product.
INCREASING DOMESTIC SALES
Sales of quality export products at home can further enrich the country's market supply and take full advantage of its super-large market size and demand potential, China's commerce ministry said in late June.
Pan's company has benefited from the vibrant domestic market after selling products at home. "We launched seven online shops on several major e-commerce platforms, including Tmall and JD.com, and our total sales have surpassed 6 million yuan (about 877,200 U.S. dollars) as of July," he said.
To better meet the growing domestic demand, the company has employed more staff and expanded production while developing new products.
The company's successful transformation was possible thanks to the local government's support. "The local government has given us financial support and helped us to open up new sales channels," he said.
A spate of measures has been rolled out by local authorities in the delta region to support domestic sales of export products after the State Council released a guideline in late June.
Jiangsu Province adopted 12 new measures, including streamlining the certification process for the domestic sale of export products and reducing certification fees to promote the integrated development of domestic and foreign trade, according to a circular released by the provincial government.
Anhui provided financial support to encourage export enterprises to sell their products to domestic customers via online exhibitions organized by the provincial department of commerce.
STABILIZING THE INDUSTRIAL CHAIN
Building a modern and stable industrial chain to supply quality products is one of the key forces in developing the "dual circulation" pattern, said Chen Wen, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who has participated in national-level planning of the delta region.
From small chips to big planes, and from cloud computing to the Internet of Things, the four provincial-level regions in the Yangtze River Delta are teaming up to further integrate their industrial chains to meet diversified domestic demands.
Anhui Shenghuabo Auto Electric Co., Ltd., a company that specializes in manufacturing windscreen wipers, is a participant and beneficiary of the increasingly integrated development within the Yangtze River Delta region.
With its manufacturing base located in Anhui, the company's R&D center is based in Shanghai, and its mold processing is conducted in Zhejiang Province.
"Regional integration has brought us new opportunities as we can tap the best potential of each place and share resources within the region. Our clients have expanded from domestic brands to joint ventures," said Zhang Weixing, vice general manager of the company.
"As time goes by, the region is becoming increasingly dynamic and appealing. Geographic proximity and similar cultures have nurtured friendship among cities. At the same time, cities in the region can also complement each other in terms of industrial chains," said Xu Xianping, a professor at Guanghua School of Management, Peking University.
"The region will explore a high-level regional integration model for the country to achieve high-quality development," said Xu.
While the potential of the domestic market is being emphasized, China will not shut the door on the world. Instead, it will further open up its economy.
Contributing to about one-third of China's foreign trade and investment, the Yangtze River Delta has the advantage of serving as a bridge between domestic and international markets.
Statistics showed that in the first half of this year, Zhejiang Province achieved a total import and export volume of 1.47 trillion yuan, up by 4.2 percent year on year while that of Anhui totaled 244.16 billion yuan, up by 9 percent from last year.
The deepening opening-up is reflected in the busy production lines at LCFC (Hefei) Electronics Technology Co., Ltd., the largest personal computer research and development and manufacturing base of the Chinese tech giant Lenovo.
In the company's workshop, based in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, workers are putting in extra hours in production.
The lifestyle of stay-at-home and work-from-home amid the epidemic has spurred the booming global demand for computers and tablets, and in the first half of the year, LCFC exported 4.05 million computers, an increase of 15.9 percent from the previous year.
"By participating in global competition, the enterprise can speed up technological innovation and industrial upgrades, which can, in turn, boost sales in the domestic market," said Bai Peng, CEO of LCFC.
According to Bai, the enterprise is continuing to innovate new products to meet both domestic and global demands. "For example, as the ultrabook is popular in the domestic market, we launched new product lines including Xiaoxin and Yoga to keep up with demands of customers," Bai said, adding that they also offer customized products and services.
China's development cannot be segregated from the world. By developing an efficient "dual circulation" pattern, China's economy can be more resilient and open up wider, said Ma Jiantang, a senior official at the Development Research Center of the State Council.