| Introduction of Ningbo
Shortened Form: Yong
City Code: 0574
Postal Code: 315000
Location: Ningbo lies in the southeast of the well-developed Yangtze River Delta and to the East China Sea. It covers an area of 9,365 square kilometers, and 11% of which is the downtown area.
Affiliated Districts: Ningbo is composed of six districts and five counties, namely Haishu, Jiangdong, Jiangbei, Zhenhai, Beilun, and Yinzhou Districts and Ninghai, Yuyao, Cixi, and Fenghua Counties.
Population: Ningbo boasts a population of 5.94 million, 19.2% of which live in the downtown area.
City Tree: Camphor tree
City Flower: Camellia
Ningbo boasts a long history and is the origin of a 7,000-year-old ancient Hemudu Culture. Ningbo used to be called Ming Zhou in the Tang Dynasty and later in the Year 1381, the name of Ningbo came into existence and was used generation after generation till now. Ningbo has also been an important import and export trading port ever since the ancient time.
Ningbo is an ideal place of interests, thanks to its distinct seasons, warm weather, beautiful landscape, and profound culture. Being a city opened to the outside world, Ningbo enjoys the same right in economic management and regulation establishment as those provinces in China.
Ningbo boasts a number of strengths in opening to the outside world, especially its favorable deep-water port. The Ningbo Port, which locates at the T-shaped confluence of the golden water route of the Yangtze River Delta and the golden coastline, is capable of dealing with the ocean transshipment of international containers and more than 100 thousand tons of bulk cargos like ore, crude oil and lumber, etc. In the year 1996, the central government claimed the Beilun Port as part of the Shanghai International Shipping Center. It helps much to the development of the Pudong District of Shanghai, makes it the economic center of the Far East promoting Shanghai, and accelerates the development of the Yangtze River Delta.
Ningbo is an important base for energy and raw materials and an export-processing district in East China and China as a whole, and an important chemical industrial base and export-oriented trade port in the Yangtze River Delta. Being one of the major cities of the Yangtze River Delta and the economic center of Zhejiang Province, Ningbo boasts its important economic status and has been witnessing rapid development of both social economy and comprehensive strength. In 1996, Ningbo’s GDP amounted to 80 billion RMB; per capita income of the town dwellers and farmers reached 7,797 RMB and 4,267 RMB respectively. An industry system that takes the petroleum, fine chemical industry, electric power as the main form and seeks a balanced development of electron, metallurgy, building material, textiles, food, and medicine has come into existence. The rural area here in Ningbo is an economic region where mass production of grain and cotton are being witnessed, diversified economy and comprehensive village and township industry are now developing. Known as “ Home of Culture”, Ningbo has witnessed a rapid development of education and science and technology and its culture and sports have been well developed.
The export-oriented trade in Ningbo develops in a pretty fast speed. In 1996, the import and export trade volume reached 4.4 billion USD, among which 2.67 billion USD are from the export trade. Till now, a brand new all dimensional structure of multi level opened to the outside world, with Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone, Ningbo Free Trade Zone, Daxie Development Zone, Yong River New District taking the lead, while receiving support from industrial zones of provincial and municipal level has been established. Ningbo now has the ability to make better use of foreign capital. There were a total of 3,585 approved foreign-funded enterprises with up to 9.3 billion USD till the end of 1996, and 5.8 billion USD invested by international enterprises were made full use of through contracts. Lots of foreign enterprises and groups has come or are now coming all the way to Ningbo and foreign investment here are now in full swing. We Ningbo are now accelerating our speed to carry out more economic cooperation with foreign enterprises boasting favorable credit standing so as to gain more foreign funds and helps develop the economy in Ningbo.
The general objective on economic and social development of Ningbo is to reach the level of the moderately developed countries now in the world, to make the GDP more than doubled as compared with what it was in the Year 2000, and to build Ningbo into a modernized international port city with ample economic strength, wide opening up, highly developed culture, science and technology, favorable living condition, good social conduct and beautiful surroundings. The basic requirements are:
——To internationalize the port
——To rationalize the industrial structure
——To modernize the city
——To further make the economy export oriented
——To develop marketwise of the operation system of economy
——To coordinate the economic status and social environment
Ningbo --- One of the first National Civilized City & Vigorous Port City
Seated in the southeast coast of China and Southern Flank of Yangtze River Delta
Birthplace of 7000-year-old Hemudu Culture
Origin of China Marine Silk Road & China Porcelain Road 1,000 years ago
One of the five seaports opened to the outside world 110 years ago
One of the first cities opened to the outside world since establishment of China
A city enjoying the power of economic management equal to the provincial level
One of the top 10 exhibition cities in China & one of the most favourable cities for foreign investment
China’s famous Historic and Cultural City & Excellent Tourism City in China
Economic, shipping, and logistics center，key transportation hinge & foreign trade port in East China
Listed top of 15 vice-provincial level cities for rich commercial resources and rapid economic development
Average GDP reached up to 51 thousand RMB and revenue was up to 56.12 billion RMB in 2006
To build up a nationally famous garment city
Ningbo is home to “Hong Band Tailors” --- a group of people proficient in garment tailoring and the birthplace of modern national garment industry. Ningbo is also the place where the first suit and the first Sun Yat-sen’s suit/ Chinese Tunic Suit were made, where the first suit-tailoring shop was set up and where the book on tailoring was first published. Nowadays, Ningbo is an important base for garment production, processing and exportation. We boast more than 3,000 enterprises proficient in garment making and a total garment production volume reaching up to 1.5 billion pieces, accounting for more than 13% of the total volume in China. In the Year 2006, the export revenue of textile and garment was added up to 6.32 billion USD, a 27.4% rise as compared to last year’s.
Specialties in Ningbo
Ningbo is not only famous for its beautiful landscape, but also for its ample food. There is also a most famous “four flavors”, namely flavors of rice, fish, books, and ink. The specialties of Ningbo can be divided into the following 6 categories in terms of seafood, dried seafood, specialty food, seasonal fruit, traditional handcrafts, and garment.
Seafood and Dried Seafood: Situated at the eastern inlet of the Yangtze River at the sea with a long coastline, Ningbo is the place where salt water and freshwater meet, and in which we are to find numerous microbes. Therefore, the seafood here is very delicious and nutritious. Ningbo is one of the chief areas where we are sure to find a lot of seafood, such as yellow-fin tuna, hairtail, cuttlefish, sea bass, walking goby, conger eel, swimming crab, shrimp, boold clam, razor clam, oyster, mire snail, jelly fish, kelp, green moss, etc. While as to the dried seafood we are to find yellow croaker, crab salad, liquor-saturated mire snail, dried shrimp, dried prawn, dried small shrimps, jellyfish head, kelp, green moss and roasted fish fillets, etc. Natives here in Ningbo take seafood as the first choice to be presents when they pay visits to their relatives and friends.
Ningbo Glutinous Rice Ball: Originally called “Yuanxiao”, Ningbo Glutinous Rice Ball, as is said, originated from the Song and Yuan Dynasties and boasts a long history of more than 700 years. It has its dough made of local premium glutinous rice, and its stuffing made of fine white sugar, black sesame seeds and lard of good quality. Thus the rice balls smells good, tastes delicious, sweet, smooth and glutinous, earning itself great fame both at home and abroad. For local residents, it has been a must to have such rice balls on the morning of the 1st day of the lunar New Year, a way to express happiness, family union and luck. And some overseas Chinese observe the custom to show that they miss their motherland pretty much. Ningbo Glutinous Rice Ball has been the very first kind of snack exported to foreign countries ever since 1982 throughout Zhejiang Province. And in the Year 1997, it was listed one of the most famous snacks in China. As is known to all, people in Ningbo would do business out of Ningbo. Therefore, with more and more Ningbonese doing trade elsewhere, Ningbo Glutinous Rice Ball became more and more popular. Ever since Ningbo’s opening up to the outside world, Ningbo Glutinous Rice Ball has been exported overseas.
Xikou Laminated Cake: Xikou Laminated Cake, a local specialty food, boasts a long history of more than 100 years. It is square and golden with green tint, contains 27 discrete crisp layers, and tastes sweet and salty, leaving people a deep impression. Xikou Laminated Cake, having earned itself a couple of national and provincial prizes, has always been a hot cake among guests from both at home and abroad, especially those overseas Chinese. Apart from the eastern part of Zhejiang Province, Xikou Laminated Cake is also popular in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, and Southeastern Asian Countries.
Sanbei Crispy Bean Sweets: It’s a traditional sweet in Ningbo and is popular in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Province and overseas. It originates from the Lupu Town of Yuyao 100 years ago. Sanbei Crispy Bean Sweets is nutritious for it contains protein, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphor, iron, and carotene and so on. What’s more, it can be preserved for a long time without going any bad.
Rice Cake: Rice cake boasts a long history of several hundred years. There goes an old saying: Having rice cake each year; Getting better in the coming year. The rice cake made in Ningbo, made of quality glutinous rice, looks as white as jade, feels soft but without glutinous. Nowadays, the Cicheng town and Sanqi town of Ningbo are the two major places that yield such rice cakes, exported to the U.S.A., Canada, Singapore, Australia and so on.
Waxberry: Waxberry, abundant in Yuyao and Cixi, is a high quality tropical fruit, as famous as lichi in Fujian and Guangdong Provinces, and was rated as one of the tributes as early as the Han Dynasty. There are mainly four kinds: white waxberry, red waxberry, pink waxberry and black waxberry. Waxberry has certain pharmacological effects, and is rich in vitamin C, glucose, citric acid, malic acid and lactic acid, etc. The Book of Compendium of Materia Medica said: “Waxberry can relieve one’s thirst, regulate our internal organs, relieve stomach upset”. It can also help relieve us from fatigue, summer heat, and rheumatism when it is made into waxberry wine. Yuyao and Cixi, two cities with heats of waxberries, are actively promoting business trading and cultural exchange on Waxberry Festivals in the end of June.
Bamboo Handicrafts: Ningbo teems with bamboo and has hundreds of years’ experience in producing bamboo handicrafts, which are excellently designed and fine knitted, are famous for their practical and ornamental value and are popular among more than 30 countries and regions. Ningbo Shilin Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd. inherited the knack in making traditional bamboo handicrafts. Together with advanced mass production, its products are artistic, enjoyable, and leave room to imagination. Its representative products are the environment-friendly artistic bamboo chopsticks, decorated with auspicious words such as “Family Blessing”, “Surplus Year After Year”, “Good Luck throughout the Year”, etc., which have been listed as one of the diplomatic gifts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
Celadon of Yue Kiln: Yue kiln celadon is a kind of china famous throughout China. Listed as one of the tributes in ancient times, Yue kiln celadon was brought to Korea, Japan, and other countries in Asia. Ever since the Tang Dynasty, lots of china has been exported to countries in Southeast Asia, even to Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq, and so on through Ningbo Port. Thus it became the main export on “the Silk Road on the Sea”, and later gained great popularity throughout the world. Celadon of Yue kiln, jade white with shiny and smooth-looking color and a nice outlook, gets itself a title--- “Rounding Moon on the Earth; Floating Cloud in the Sky”.
Artistic Lacquer ware: Ningbo boasts a long history in making artistic lacquer ware, which is evidenced by the fact that a wooden bowl painted vermilion was excavated among other cultural relics in the 7,000-year-old Hemudu Site. Artistic lacquer ware is made from wooden body painted with traditional Chinese lacquer and can be divided into three categories, namely embossed lacquer ware, flush lacquer ware and sunk lacquer ware. The major lacquer products include folding screen, drum benches, end table, fruit bowl, television cabinet, book cabinet and writing desk, etc.
Cinnabar and Gold Lacquer Woodcarvings: It is a traditional handicraft technique in Ningbo. Cinnabar and gold lacquer woodcarving, often tightly framed, is usually about festive events, folklore with unique local color. Folding screen, trunks, cabinets, sculpture of famous people in the history, Buddha figure, animal sculpture, and colored lamp made in the form of cinnabar and gold lacquer woodcarving boast a great market in many European, American and Asian countries.
Straw Mats: Straw mats, especially those are made in Huanggulin of Yinzhou District, is a famous specialty in Ningbo. Such straw mat is featured by thin, straight and stretchy straw, white root, smooth color, and sweat- and-water absorbing functions. And you will feel quite comfortable sleeping on it. Straw mats can be divided into two kinds: hard straw mat and soft straw mat. Hard straw mat is made of hemp, with the one made of white hemp claiming the top grade. It hardly leaks a single drop of water once you pour some onto it. And the soft straw mat is made of yarn. One straw mat can be used for twenty or thirty years, and it enjoys an extremely high fame abroad. We have also developed sofa, car cushion and folding products made of straw in accordance with the demand from the market.