A New Silk Road Recreated in Yiwu(2009.10.30)

In cold Autumn day, the air was filled with the mist from the Arab Hookah scent of roasted lamb. Under the

Flashing neon lights in the restaurant, with the strong beat of music, Arabic men were talking loudly.

Such scenarios are commonplace in any city in the Middle East, now it appears in the eastern part of China.

In about 300 kilometers south of Shanghai, there are nearly 200 million people in China and the Middle East,

Yiwu has become the "New Silk Road" crossroads, each year more than 20 million influx of Arab traders.

29-year-old Ashraf Shihabi exotic street runs the Arab restaurant. He were greeting with the customer and

said: "come to China easier, do not speak Chinese and English people can come here."

Royal Bank of Scotland chief economist of the China Simpfendorfer said the United States and Europe increased

by 9.11 visa restrictions after the attack, the Arabs relatively easy to obtain Chinese visas.

Yiwu officials further. In order to attract local and large wholesale business, they helped built a mosque,

encourage the establishment of Arabic language schools, so that about 3,000 Arabs became the city's permanent


Shihabi witnessed the city's history. He left Jordan in 2002, to the uncle operated restaurants. At that time,

it is Yiwu, one of the few Arab pavement. He learned Mandarin and began doing business, but also a convert to

Islam, married a Chinese girl.

9.11 incident, the international situation determines the flow direction of merchants. The first influx of

Afghans fleeing the war Yiwu. Then come to a greater number of Iraqis, but also to escape the violence and the

U.S. invasion. With global oil prices and increased purchasing power in the Middle East, merchants from the

Arab world, also began to increase.

Shihabi said: "because of Fukuda." He was referring to the local small commodities wholesale market, "This is

the world's largest market."

While welcoming the merchants to patronize, Futian market, murals, waist collapse machetes, bearded man with

the fur in exchange for Chinese silk. However, today's customers can be found here all kinds of modern


Yiwu Market, "Made in China" items with low prices. From the ukulele to the cartoon backpack, from the iPod to

the false eyelashes imitation, from books to the non-stick pan, It can sales over 1.7 million goods payment

eash day.

28-year-old Lebanese businessman named Bassfeiter looked over the side of a large shopping center as the

general market, while waiting to see a sample of a spoon. He said: "It's a product of the Kingdom."

Yiwu is suitable Vehbi such merchants. He was the first time visit Yiwu 5 months ago. It is his third time to

purchase here. Each time, the type and quantity of goods he purchased both were increase. He intends to

purchase 500 varieties, three containers of goods shipped back to domestic sales.

The procurement process, the merchants who need China shopping guide and translation assistance. Many of them

can speak in Arabic.

As survey, Yiwu has more than 60% of the enterprises in the recruitment to request that the candidate can

speak in Arabic.

Yiwu mosque imam Ma Ching (sound): "The local Arabic language courses offered in many schools."

He said the mosque was rebuilt from a factory area. "At first, on Friday, only 100 Muslims come to pray, and

later developed to 1,000 people, 2,000 people, there are 6,000. The increasing speed is very fast."

Simpfendorfer in the "New Silk Road," a book about China and the Arab world increasingly close links. He said:

"Yiwu market status shows that the relationship between China and the Middle East is largely the result of

individual contacts. People think that business relationship between China and the Middle East, only with oil

-related, is not the case."

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