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Yiwu, a county-level inland city, located in East China's Zhejiang province, hosted a business forum on April 23 themed around building the city into the "Sixth Harbor District" of the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world's largest port measured by cargo throughput.
Around 20 well-known international shipping companies, including Maersk, COSCO, MSC, CMA-CGM, and Matson, attended the forum to discuss the possibility of shifting some functions and shipping resources from the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port to Yiwu.
Yiwu is often dubbed "the world capital of small commodities" as it is home to the world's largest wholesale market for accessories, zippers, socks, textiles, toys, and more. It has established business ties with 2 million small and medium-sized companies in China as well as 233 countries and regions.
Yiwu is also an important source of cargo to be transported through the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, accounting for around one seventh of containers exported there.
In September 2020, the State Council, China's cabinet, issued an official plan on expanding the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone, in which the integration of the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and Yiwu Port was highlighted. Yiwu has chosen the inland Port of Duisburg in Germany as its benchmark and has been strengthening its cooperation since then with Ningbo and Zhoushan in customs, shipping, and port administrative affairs. A total of 10,400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo were handled through sea-rail transport between Yiwu and Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in the first quarter of this year, soaring 103.6 percent from the previous year.