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WHAT TO SELL TO CHINA

AND HOW?

It may be difficult to enter the Chinese market, but it is not impossible, proof of which are those Polish companies, mainly representing the agro-food industry, which successfully market their products there. Can food turn out to be what Polish entrepreneurs are looking for as they look for products which could appeal to the Chinese palate?

I

n the first five months of 2019, Polish companies exported food products worth EUR 74.9 million to China, a 76% sales increase as compared to the corresponding period the year before. Poultry meat producers gained the most (the value of products they sold went up from EUR 409,000 to EUR 17.4 million,) followed by milk producers (up from EUR 9 million to EUR 19 million).

IS BRAND POLAND STRONG ENOUGH TO ACHIEVE HIGH SALES IN FOREIGN MARKETS?

RUNAWAY CHICKENS

Looking at those figures, you can draw the following conclusions: things used to be far worse before, so exports soared from what was a very low base. But does this mean that food can be the Holy Grail in trade with China? Are Polish producers ready to take up the challenge? Growing food exports to China have been largely caused by the African swine fever epidemic, which sent pork prices skyrocketing. Pork could easily be replaced with cheaper poultry. In 2019, poultry export permits to China were secured by CEDROB Ciechanów Ujazdówek plant, CEDROB Ciechanów Niepołomice plant and ROLDROB. The snag is that as many as 172 American plants have recently received similar permits, which means that Polish poultry exporters will find stiff competition in China.

IS BRAND POLAND RECOGNISABLE? Could beer be the answer? After all, its sales have been booming for over a decade. According to Statistics Poland and Eurostat, Polish beer exports to China have grown by half, reaching PLN 5 million by mid2019. However, most of the beer was sold in Chinese supermarkets under their own brands. And this is where the question arises: is the Poland brand strong enough to attract foreign consumers? Polish producers who are keen to succeed on the Chinese market must try to answer this question before their products hit supermarket shelves. For now, it seems that Chinese consumers only have a vague idea of Poland as such, let alone of its products.

WHAT ABOUT KNOW-HOW? A good Polish product can be marketed in Japan as coming from the homeland of the famous Polish composer Frederic Chopin, who is a

household name in that country. In China, there do not seem to be any such obvious associations. When the Polish dairy giant Mlekovita started selling its products in Chinese supermarkets a few years ago, there was no indication on the labels that the products came from Poland. Customers could find German descriptions H-Milch and Vollmilch on the milk cartons. The supermarkets’ decision probably meant that the brand Germany sells. When is it going to be Poland’s turn? Does this mean that Polish exporters can only look for opportunities arising from international trade wars and internal problems on the Chinese market? Do they need to agree to supermarket labels which disguise the origin of the products? It seems that without adequate institutional support, and without boosting tourism from China to Poland, which would make this country more recognisable among Chinese citizens, it may • be very difficult to reverse negative trends.

5 RULES

If you want to enter the Chinese market 1. Find out about the country’s culture, economic and legal conditions. 2. Try to find an experienced partner who will facilitate cooperation with local business partners. 3. Check if your product meets the Chinese importer's quality expectations. 4. Make sure that your product is promoted with the use of various tools at trade fairs and business meetings. 5. Secure the product launch, its promotion, payments and tax issues, by adopting a two-year perspective. 2-3/2020 polish market

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Profile for Polish Market

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...

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