For a shrewd businessman, China's plan for coordinated development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region means huge business opportunities. Yu Guiting, board chairman of Dongsu Group in Cangzhou city, Hebei province, is such a businessman.
The 69-year-old man has always wanted to branch into the garment industry since the 1960 s when he went to the United States on a business trip and was amazed by what he saw at a garment industry cluster there. In 2014, when China put forward the plan for regional development, Yu believed it was exactly the right time.
According to the plan, Beijing needs to relieve itself of functions non-essential to its role as the Chinese capital, which includes the relocation of its garment industry.
Yu compared Beijing's garment industry to a tree that has grown very big after three decades of development --about 60 0,000 people were in Beijing's garment business before the relocation. For the tree to survive and thrive in Cangzhou, Yu said, he needed to provide fertile soil and a large enough planting hole for it to grow.
His idea was to create an industrial cluster which adopts a modern business operating model and incorporates every single link of the garment industry from R&D, design, production, storage, logistics all the way down to wholesale and retail.
His Cangzhou Dongsu Mingzhu Commodity Market opened in 2014 and was designated as a demonstrative project on how to respond to Beijing and Tianjin's industrial transfer.
So far, approximately 15,000 garment vendors from Beijing have entered or signed letters of intent to enter the market, which has a planned business area of 2.2 million square meters.
Upon full completion, the project will be able to host 60 ,000 vendors from Beijing and post a turnover of 240 billion yuan.
To woo Beijing's garment businesses, Dongsu has a slew of preferential policies in place, including rent free and property management fee waivers.
The company has also launched free shuttle buses to transport clients from Beijing to Cangzhou. It also operates buses to other Chinese cities in an attempt to lure in more clients.