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The EU SME Centre Supports European Business Delegations Attending China International Import Expo

By EU SME Centre | Press Article      15.11.2018     Tags:

7 - 8 November, Shanghai - In the framework of the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, the Centre held two workshops aimed at EU SMEs participating in the Expo. The first one was held on November 7th in cooperation with Invest Shanghai and gathered 40 companies already operating in the Chinese market and companies considering China in their business strategy.

After a short introduction to the support services that the Centre offers to European SMEs when accessing the market, the Centre’s Knowledge Centre Coordinator and Business Development Officer, Liam Jazcii outlined the main strategic policies offering opportunities in such a wide market: 

  • the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which since 2013 has developed train services in 13 countries and 36 European cities. Chinese investments into BRI totalled EUR 48 billion in the period from 2013 to mid-2017 with opportunities in logistics, financial services, tourism, transportation and infrastructure sectors.
  • Made in China 2025 with the objective of narrowing China gap from more advanced economies in the manufacturing sector is meant to boost innovation, increase production efficiencies and added value by 2025 it presents opportunities in ten priority sectors among which agricultural machinery, modern railway equipment, new information technology, biological medicine and medical devices. 

By sharing a few successes factors the Centre is used to suggest to the SMEs in its network (understand the market, make the right strategy for IPR, identify the right partner, adapt products and ultimately choose the right time), Liam prepared the stage for the Centre’s director Peter Pronk. 

The Director outlined the key cultural differences to be aware of when negotiating and communicating in China and shared some key tips when assessing one’s readiness for the Chinese market:

  • Make a plan that fits your company
  • Know the Chinese market in all its details
  • Understand the culture and the habits
  • Take time to negotiate
  • Listen to what you do not hear.

Both presentations triggered questions from the audience that lead to a good discussion during which, companies at their first stage in the Chinese market had the chance to grasp the experiences and best practices from the Centre’s representatives and the SMEs already operating in the market. 

On November 8th, the Centre was welcomed by the Croatia Chamber of Economy to give a presentation to Croatian SMEs interested in China as a business opportunity on the Ways to Enter the market. Guest experts for the day were Mireia Paulo from A&Z Law Firm and Michiel Vos from Moore & Stevens. 

During a well-balanced presentation introducing the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in China with or without a local entity, Michiel and Mireia presented a few case studies to introduce the key aspects to consider when dealing with the Chinese market in order to prevent any pitfall: 

  • Drafting a safe business contract
  • Conducting due diligence when considering a business partner
  • Be aware of the basic requirements and be compliant when exporting a product
  • Properly consider employment of a foreigner or local staff and be compliant with China labour law.

With more than 50 companies met during the two days in Shanghai, we strongly believe that, although China offers plenty of opportunities thanks to its rapidly growing middle class and an increasing purchasing power of China’s consumers, EU SMEs need to carefully study their market segment and entry mode as well as protecting one’s intellectual property. 

The Centre, with its Ask the Expert channels, covers five level of expertise and offers free practical and confidential advice to EU SMEs. Register on our website and ask your question here

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