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A question was asked on which city or country to recommend when a company wants to open a sourcing office in Asia. Here’s the question: Hi, I work for a retail company in South America and our biggest imports are garments from China. We want to open an office of representation and sourcing in Asia. Just want to hear your suggestion to help us decide where to locate our office. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Vietnam, who knows, or based on your experience maybe where most retailers have their offices. This is the answer by the expert to the question above: To answer this question, you need to ask yourself "what do you hope to accomplish by opening an office in China". For example, a representative office (RO) in PRC is not allowed to invoice (can't actually buy and sell). But the staff in the RO can provide support such as negotiations and quality control functions. If you are thinking of using the entity to buy and sell, then you may want to consider opening a WOFE (wholly owned foreign entity) with a trading license. With this vehicle you can make purchases and resell under your own name. This is a great tool if you are buying commodity items from your suppliers and desire to ship directly to your buyers without letting them know the actual source (assuming you are worried your buyers would try to go factory direct and cut you out of the loop). Setting up in HK is much easier than in PRC, not nearly as much red tape or limits on your scope of business. However, the costs associated with office space, warehousing space and especially human resources are significantly higher than in the Mainland. Despite the costs, HK is an excellent location if you desire to have a regional sourcing hub managing orders at a pan-Asia level. In HK you will find an excellent banking system, rule of law and well-educated staff to man your office. Read the full article on the correct methods on how to set up China office and other related resources on where to find China products at Ask the Experts from Global Sources.

How to Set Up Sourcing Office in Asia?  

You need to ask yourself "what do you hope to accomplish by opening an office in China", before you think of opening one.