- Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 16:33
A strong supply chain and favorable policies cement the city's status as a top tableware hub.
Bolstered by plentiful material resources, established logistics setup and strong government backing, Shenzhen remains the principal manufacturing base for tableware in China. This city in Guangdong province is, in fact, the largest plastic provider in the country with a more than 10 percent share of the total domestic output.
Key manufacturing inputs such as wood, metal and glass are readily available within Shenzhen as it is also a major sourcing center for electronics, furniture and watches.
Apart from these, the area is just a stone’s throw away from Foshan and Chaozhou, two of the biggest ceramic producers in Guangdong. The former is likewise among the top providers of stainless steel in the province, along with the cities of Jieyang and Jiangmen.
Together with neighboring Dongguan, the hub hosts between 2,000 and 3,000 specialists involved in molding, plastic injection and surface treatment. This is particularly beneficial for small and midsize suppliers that lack in-house facilities for such procedures.
Shenzhen leverages a good transportation system as well. The Yantian Port, which is one the five largest seaports in the world, is situated east of the city. Besides having its own airport, Shenzhen is only a few hours’ drive to Hong Kong and Guangzhou. These areas also boast seaports and regular flights to major destinations worldwide.
Immediate access to materials and services, and a strategic geographical location allow makers to save on transportation costs and expedite delivery.
To strengthen its manpower pool, the city’s administration has invested $24 million in the establishment of a technical education center. Known as the Shenzhen Public Training Base for High-Skilled Workers, this is the first of its kind in the country.
The local government is also keen on expanding six existing institutions and building two more. At present, Shenzhen has a total of 21 occupational academies.
Plans to abolish tuition fees gradually in vocational schools are now in place. Policies that limit admission to local residents have likewise been abrogated. Currently, these educational centers are accepting trainees from nearby cities and provinces.
A number of suppliers are offering scholarships to outstanding students as well. Businesses usually hire their beneficiaries after graduation.
Further, a project to establish more than 700 community schools by 2016 is under way. These academies are geared toward helping employees who finished only middle school to attain secondary education. The government and their companies will finance the workers’ studies. Once training is completed, the participants are given certificates.
In addition, Shenzhen authorities have allocated $8 million annually from 2009 to 2012 for various skills development endeavors. Efforts include arranging seminars where experts can share industry knowledge with the city’slabor force.
To assist suppliers in widening their customer network, another $8 million is spent every year on organizing trade shows. Part of the amount is used to subsidize half of the total fees of all exhibiting local companies.
Last February, the city government also adjusted the minimum monthly wage from $210 to $240. Aimed at helping businesses attract and retain personnel, this is among the highest basic salaries in the country.
Shenzhen’s booming commercial and tourism industries are pushing the line forward as well. The situation has led to the establishment of more hotels and restaurants, boosting the local demand for tableware.
Fueled by such advantages, the city was able to ship more than 1 billion kilograms of plastic, metal and ceramic pieces worth $2.2 billion in 2011. These figures account for 37 and 33 percent of the country’s entire exports and revenue. Although the volume dropped slightly by 2 percent from the previous year, overseas sales grew by 18 percent. Compared with 2009 values, the numbers represent an increase of 20 and 60 percent, respectively.
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Note: This article "Shenzhen tableware makers leverage robust support system" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through e-magazines and trade shows
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