China's 'sneaker capital' go global - Belt and Road Initiative
A pair of Anta Coca Cola-themed sneakers wowed visitors at the 21st Jinjiang Footwear & 4th Sports Industry International Exposition. [Photo by Li Xueqing/chinadaily.com.cn]
Five years after Zahangir Alam Talukdar finished his studies at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou in 2014, he went back to his hometown in Bangladesh and started a handmade shoes company.
Seeking customers in one of the largest markets in the world, he set up a booth at this year's Footwear & Sports Industry International Exposition in Jinjiang, East China's Fujian province.
"I want to take this opportunity to meet people and see if there is any result," Talukdar said before he fervently shook hands with Chinese exhibitors visiting his booth and spoke to them in Chinese.
Talukdar usually attends the China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, as it has been China's largest international trading fair with a long and reputable history. But this year, he chose the Jinjiang Expo as he thinks it is "very specific regarding shoes".
Since 1999, Jinjiang has been growing in popularity with key decision makers in the shoemaking industry, which has seen the Footware Expo grow in scale to match. The expo showcases the entire shoe production process, from shoemaking machinery, design, materials to ready to wear shoes.
For a third year running the expo set up a "Belt and Road" pavilion. Relevant business associations in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have organized enterprise groups to participate in the expo.
Renowned as the "sneaker capital", Jinjing has kept its momentum in shoe making through innovation and technology in recent years. According to the Jinjiang Council for the Promotion of International Trade, in 2017, with 4,826 footwear companies, the city's shoe industry grossed 122 billion yuan ($18.2 billion).
Once known mainly as being an equipment manufacturer base for international brand such as Nike, Jinjiang's shoe industry is now rapidly developing its own innovation capability in research and development, gaining worldwide attention from both consumers and manufacturers alike.
"In the past, the overseas brands picked us for manufacturing, but now we pick them," said Xu Jihua, an official in Jinjiang's Swimsuit Association secretariat. Swimsuit is another competitive sports industry in Jinjiang.
Source： chinadaily.com.cn Editor：Lucky
(Source_title：China's 'sneaker capital' go global)