Part one of this three-part series highlights the city’s competitive advantage as a manufacturing hub.
Shantou’s toy industry benefits from the city’s strategic location and extensive transportation system, fortifying its position as a key sourcing base and one of China’s five special economic zones.
Lying along the east coast of Guangdong province and south of the Hanjiang River delta region, the hub is a vital import, export and commodity distribution center. The port is connected to 272 harbors in 58 countries across the globe and can handle nearly 30 million tons of cargo.
In addition, the area is linked to other major cities via the Guangzhou-Meizhou-Shantou train line and the Shantou-Fenshui highway, which reaches Shenzhen and Xiamen. Further, the Shantou Waisha Airport accommodates 46 domestic and international flights weekly.
Because of the close proximity to Shenzhen, which is also a noted economic zone, both cities play critical roles in each other’s development, particularly for the toy sector. To illustrate, many RC model makers set up their headquarters in Shenzhen because of the more open and innovative business environment. Their R&D and production facilities, however, remain in Shantou to take advantage of the lower labor and land rates.
With a total area of 2,064sqkm, Shantou has six administrative districts and one county. Among them, the district of Chenghai is known as China’s key manufacturing center for toys and gifts. About 95 percent of the city’s plaything companies are found here. And as the brand-building base of Guangdong, strategies are carried out to promote the region’s competitiveness and highlight outstanding releases.
Further, the locale hosts an annual international toys and gifts fair with the help of organizations such as the Chenghai Toy Technology Innovation Center and the Chenghai Toy Association. The event has been one of the nation’s most important trade shows since 1999.
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Note: This article "Shantou toy makers leverage location, transportation" was originally
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