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With rising costs of labor and land in first-tier cities, manufacturing has moved into second-tier cities and continued into the lower tiers.
Government reforms have helped fuel this development.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first half of 2013 was US trillion, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%.
Bloomberg senior economist Michael Mc Donough correctly predicted that the government would tolerate much slower growth in the second half of 2013, as its strategy shifts to more sustainable long-term growth (Zheng, 2013).
This requires China to address new challenges, such as sourcing enough gemstones to satisfy import and export demand (figure 2). China’s consumption of gemstones, both for export and the domestic market, has led to supply shortages and intense competition at mining sources and markets worldwide. In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy after the United States (table 1).
The business relationship between the two was established before the change in sovereignty in 1997, especially after the significant economic reforms China instituted in the late 1970s.
article, “The Chinese Century,” summed up the widespread sentiment that China will become the world’s leading economic power and most influential country early in this century (Fishman, 2004).
The same holds true for the gem and jewelry industry: For years a global manufacturing hub, China is emerging as the strongest consumer market for luxury products such as jewelry.
Unofficially, there are 59 cities in the second tier, 92 in the third, and 105 in the fourth (Schuster, 2012).
Second-tier cities are rapidly developing into commercial centers, and this is reshaping the country’s commercial, industrial, and regulatory landscape (Schuster, 2012).