BCECC Newsletter: Sourcing from China

In the past years, everybody is talking about China as an export market. But an interesting question is also: is China still interesting as a sourcing market?

Undoubtedly, there are factors speaking against sourcing from China, such as rising costs and salaries, the emergence of countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and other South-East Asian countries and the recently growing rationale towards ‘re-shoring’ in western countries (Note: reshoring is the process of returning the production and manufacturing of goods back to the company’s original country).

However, there are also many factors speaking in favor of China to continue to be the leading sourcing market in the world for the years to come:

  • China still has a huge production base: a lot of raw materials, components, semi-finished and finished products and equipment are still coming from China today.
  • China has moved up the value chain at breakneck speed, producing high-tech products and technologies, some of them as one of the only countries in the world producing such products and technologies.
  • Stimulus programs by the Chinese government (subsidies, tax incentives, made-in-China 2025, Belt & Road Initiative) encouraging, R&D, innovation and automation, as well as product quality.
  • China has the infrastructure, such as railways, highways, harbours, communication infrastructure, power grid infrastructure, etc.
  • And maybe most importantly: China has become a mass consumer market. As a consequence, companies that previously only sourced products from China now also consider selling their goods in China.

When buying products from Chinese suppliers, the same challenges apply as before: finding the right supplier(s) and screening of your supplier(s), negotiation of the prices and payment conditions, difficulties in communication and cultural differences, intellectual property issues, quality assurance and quality control, logistics, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these challenges even bigger than before. Currently it is difficult for Belgian companies to travel to China to find suppliers and perform quality inspections, consequently other solutions need to be found.

On October 13, 2020, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) will organize a free online information session, talking about the most famous sourcing exhibition in China: the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 128th Canton Fair will exceptionally be held online from October 15-24, 2020.

After a short welcome word by Mr. Bernard Dewit, Chairman of the BCECC, speeches will be made by Mr. Zhou Zhaoming, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of P.R. China to the Kingdom of Belgium and Mr. Liu Quandong, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Canton Fair. Afterwards a presentation on the online platform of the 128th Canton Fair will be given by Ms. Gao Rui, International VIP Service Executive at the China Foreign Trade Centre and a testimonial by Mr. Liu Guojin, East Asia Business Manager of Antwerp Port Authority, concluded by a Q&A session.

If you are interested in joining this event, please register at https://bcecc.be/information-session-join-the-128th-canton-fair-from-home-this-year-on-13-october-2020/.

Please contact the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) in case you need more information.