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World Consumer Markets Drift in 2012 - with Some Exceptions

Business Chain Issue 1



Business Chain Issue 1

Business Chain Issue 1 Cover Story

World Consumer Markets Drift in 2012 ﹣ with Some Exceptions

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Feature Story

Rising Wages Blunt Chinese Factories’ Competitive Edge

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Ethical Sourcing

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Good Apps: Find My Factory

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Good Food: Five Hong Kong snacks you shouldn’t miss!

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Good Travel: Seoul ﹣ from more perspectives!

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About Tradegood

Good News: Launch of Tradegood in USA!

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Foreword Yes, the former iSupplier Intelligence (ISI) has been renamed to Tradegood! We kicked off the new brand launch at MAGIC Show in Las Vegas, USA. We were thrilled to come across a lot of interested buyers, suppliers and media. Head to Page 14 for those cheerful and encouraging moments of the first launch! While the big rebranding project is demanding, it’s relieving when we saw the smiley face in our logo. The smiley face is what we want every Tradegood member to wear when doing sourcing – real information, easy connection and lasting partnerships. In short, good supply chain. Tradegood will be brought to 6 major cities in China for a full launch in November. You will very soon see your China suppliers with the same smiley faces and trusted identities. Want to know more about Tradegood? Go to now! This excerpt of our magazine, Business Chain, is published especially for our dearest Tradegood members. Eager to read the whole magazine? Head to Apple iBookstore and search for “Business Chain 1” or scan the QR code below. There are a lot more stories on market trends, special features and regulatory info. We are sure that you gonna enjoy it! See you in the next quarter. Until then, remember our smiley face and be happy!

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Business Chain Issue 1 ISBN 978-988-16659-1-1 Published by Marketing Division of Tradegood. All rights reserved. No copy of any part of this publication is allowed unless prior written authorization is received from Tradegood. Please send enquiries or comments to

Business Chain Issue 1


World Consumer Markets Drift in 2012 - with Some Exceptions

he year 2011 posed serious hurdles to all traders and retailers, with the Eurozone crisis significantly affecting the global economy and shrinking consumer markets. Half way through 2012, we can now take a closer look at the situation in some major consumer markets and see where the smart money, if any, will come from.

Western Europe still a concern

Despite the various measures taken by individual countries in the Eurozone, the situation there still provides cause for concern. The Economic Sentiment Indicator, a monthly survey developed by the European Commission, recorded a considerable drop in August 2012 for both the European Union (EU) (a drop of 2 points) and the Eurozone (a drop of 1.8 points), falling to 87 and 86.1 respectively. This reveals a significant loss in confidence in all business sectors. On the consumer side, latest Consumer Confidence Indicator remained in the negative side. The indicator of EU went down from -22.7 points to -23.9 points, and that of Eurozone was even worse – dropping from -24.6 points to -25.9 points in September. This totally makes sense, considering that the situation will likely remain volatile, with an unclear future for these European countries. In June, both Spain and Cyprus officially requested bailout funds, as did longtroubled Greece, Ireland and Portugal. A response to these requests by the EU is crucial, not only for these countries, but also for the unity and stability of the Union, as the financial failure of any country could have a devastating impact on Europe as a whole, and will no doubt lead to political instability, fiscal contraction, unemployment and so on.


Business Chain Issue 1

It is also noteworthy that, even though bailout funds can provide instant relief for these countries, the road ahead for the EU remains difficult. While the EU was set up to enhance the integration of participating countries, it has been criticized for not having a well-structured architecture and key monitoring machinery in place to balance the power, growth and interests of member countries. These fundamental weaknesses have been exposed by the Eurozone crisis and the EU will have to devote huge efforts and resources to improving the situation. Given the volatility of this situation, consumers in Europe are going to spend less and spend more cautiously. Retail sales index in August, accordingly to the Eurostat, contracted by 1.3% in the Eurozone when compared to August 2011. Thus, for those eyeing Western European markets, warning bells are still sounding, if not getting even louder.

A Polarized Eastern Europe

Depending on their dependency on exports and exposure to Eurozone banks, countries in Eastern Europe are experiencing polarized development. Central and Southeastern Europe, reliant on exports to Western Europe, have been hit badly by this crisis. Hungary, for example, projects 1.5% negative growth in its own economy, and its consumer confidence has been negative for the past 20 months, according to Trading Economics. Other countries, such as Croatia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, the Baltic States and the Czech Republic, are trapped in similar scenarios.

The situation is further exacerbated by the exodus of overseas capital and by Eurozone banks imposing stringent limits on commercial and personal loans and mortgages. Business closures and job losses will be the result, seriously affecting consumer confidence and propensity to spend. On the other hand, some countries which are less close to the Eurozone have posted an exceptionally good performance. Russia and Poland, the two forecast to have the most solid growth, should be thankful for their arms-length attachment to the distressed Eurozone. Russia recorded 6.4% growth in household consumption in 2011, and is forecast by Business Monitor International to grow by 4.3% in 2012. Consumer markets in Russia will likely be further stimulated after the country’s WTO entry, with the lowering of average maximum import tariffs from 10% to 7.8% as one of the terms of WTO membership. In 2011 Poland posted growth of 4.5% and its per-capita GDP moved up to US$14,000. The increase in disposable income has led to the rise of a middle class which is willing to pay more for quality imports, offering some relief to frustrated traders and retailers. Prayers should be offered for the continued immunity of these countries to the ‘Euro plague’.

Some surprises from the United States Despite strong headwinds from the Eurozone, the United States is giving the world a few surprises.

Under the new quantitative easing (QE) measures implemented by the US Federal Reserve, equity prices rose, while interest rates and the value of the US dollar retreated. All these factors actually boosted consumer spending, particularly on bigticket items such as cars and houses. Latest figures from the National Association of Realtors revealed that the pending-homesales index climbed to 101.7 points in July 2012, suggesting an optimistic US housing market, which has been encouraged by low mortgage rates and property prices. Traders and buyers will also be surprised by the positive consumer environment in the US. Consumers have now increased spending after a painful but substantial repayment of debts over the past few years. The financial obligations of the Federal Reserve, which calculates the ratio of mortgage and creditcard payments to total disposable income, marked a historic low of 10.9% in Q4 2011. Such an increase in cash flow is quite surprising to consumers, allowing them to spend more freely to release the pent-up demand after a long period of restraint. The US Commerce Department announced a rise of 4.7% in retail and food services sales in August 2012 as compared with same month last year, indicating slowly recovering consumer confidence. However, the US market is not an easy one for any buyer or trader to deal with. US consumers are still struggling against a high unemployment rate and thus spending prudently. The slump in the Eurozone is inevitably exerting considerable pressure on the US market as well. November’s presidential election will be another factor which should not be overlooked. Whether Democrat Obama succeeds in being re-elected, or Romney leads the Republicans back into the White House, policies on healthcare, defense, housing, employment, taxation, foreign relation, etc., remain unknowns to the market.

There is an old Chinese saying that “if everyone in China gives you one penny, you are going to be a millionaire”. This is absolutely true, except that nobody ever says how to get the penny easily.

Noting that consumer spending accounts for only some 36% of GDP, the Chinese government is trying to dig itself out of a hole by boosting the domestic market. For example, first-time home ownership is being encouraged by low interest rates and smaller down-payments. This is clearly a good sign for traders and buyers in the home decoration, furniture and logistics industries. Another measure adopted by the Chinese government was increasing the minimum wage in major cities. This has substantially increased consumer purchasing power, producing positive signs for the market. On the other hand, the higher minimum wage has generated another problem for the Chinese government: an accelerated decline in foreign investment and in manufacturing activity. Factory closures have already been observed in key industrial areas. This vicious cycle is rather ironic.

Overall, the outlook for the US in the near future might be looking a bit cloudy, but at least there is no heavy rainfall on the horizon.

Uncertainty in the social situation is another negative for the consumer market. The controversial one-child policy works against economic development and the ensuing labor shortage is the bane of manufacturers who are already in a slump.

An Uncertain China

Last but not least, uneven wealth distribution is becoming more and more pronounced, underscoring increasing social unrest.

China has been the brightest light in the consumer market over the past few years, but this may not be the case for much longer. Having grown at 9.2% in 2011, China is now expected to post lower growth in 2012, due to strengthening of the Renminbi and, again, the Eurozone crisis, which has contributed to a decline in exports and foreign direct investment.

Under these circumstances, even though the Chinese people are believed to have abundant disposable income thanks to deeply ingrained savings habits, their enthusiasm for spending will be dampened by the downturn in the economy. We need to watch the next steps in China very carefully.

Recovering Japan

Seriously ravaged by the earthquake in early 2011, Japan is slowly rebuilding. The Japanese Consumer Confidence Index, maintained by the Japanese government’s Cabinet Office, shows a moderate but inspiring upward movement since the disaster. The Index rose from 38.3 points in March 2011 to 40.5 points in July 2012. The rising line shows that Japanese confidence in the consumer market is quite resilient. A positive trend was recorded in industrial production; mild GDP growth is also expected. Traders and buyers may be astonished by the finding that, in the post-3.11 period, the Japanese are still very willing to pay for luxury items. Recent research by McKinsey showed that less than 20% of Japanese respondents were “less interested in shopping for luxury goods since the earthquake and tsunami”. This indicates that the Japanese continue to be fond of items that will appreciate in value and can be passed down to future generations. The electronics market remains robust in Japan too. According to research institute GfK, one outstanding item is the tablet PC, shipments of which posted a dramatic 130% year-on-year unit rise in Q1 2012. As regards daily necessities, Japanese are very willing to pay for food and beverages from verified, organic or natural sources. This is a direct effect of the 3.11 earthquake where food safety was compromised due to nuclear fallout.

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While there is a rebound in the Japanese consumer market, high unemployment, especially among school graduates, and an aging population place constraints on the country’s propensity to post a big turnover in the consumer market. What is more undermining is the fate of the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Plant, and more importantly, where new energy sources will come from to satisfy Japan’s commercial, industrial and household consumption needs. Japan will fare better and better over the next few quarters, but the road to full recovery is still unclear.

Cautious South Korea

The miracle of recent economic development history, South Korea is now experiencing some hard times. Exports account for more than half of South Korea’s GDP but are now experiencing weakening demand from major export markets – Europe, US and China. To alleviate the problem, earlier this year South Korea initiated bilateral free-trade agreements with China and Vietnam, and a trilateral free-trade agreement with China and Japan.

Charming India

At last, this giant country of 1.2 billion population is a safe and stable shelter for world trade. With an average ratio of exports against GDP of only 22% from 2007 to 2011 (as noted by the World Bank), India is somewhat protected from the volatile world market. The situation is further mitigated by the fact that India’s exports are more service oriented than manufacturingoriented. India achieved a GDP of US$1.73 trillion in 2011, a significant year-onyear increase of 25%. The growth in the economy and rise in household income will go a long way towards boosting India’s consumer market. The population structure in India also contributes to a robust consumer market. Her population consists of a high proportion of young people, about 50% of population being under the age of 25. Along with economic development, India’s literacy rate is almost 75%. This huge population segment of young and educated people constitutes a major consumer force in India. One report says that consumer expenditure in India will go up by 14% each year, reaching US $3.6 trillion by 2020. Many foreign retailers have already entered this new market, generating reasonable profits. Yet India can be tricky

Although the new trade measures aim at promoting exports and helping manufacturers, manufacturers are suffering from surging oil prices, with South Korea relying heavily on oil imports to satisfy almost all domestic demand. Higher oil prices inevitably push up manufacturing costs and the price of goods, having an unfavorable impact on exports from South Korea. Apart from economic worries, South Koreans are actually finding themselves less able to spend because of extremely high household debt. South Korea’s total household debt stands at around US$800 billion, close to the country’s annual GDP. The situation is sadly a result of heavy household investment in real estate, and it may take years for investors to free themselves from the burden of mortgage payments. The latest Consumer Confidence Index released by the Bank of Korea shows a dip of 6 points from 105 points in May to 99 points in August this year, reflecting the blues among South Koreans in response to a sluggish European market. Both traders and buyers should remain as cautious as the South Koreans themselves.


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It’s busy. It’s hectic. It’s India!

for both veterans and newcomers. The frequent changes in trade and labor policy present major barriers to entry. Traders should be well prepared for unforeseeable and sudden changes in the business environment in this region. But India is probably too alluring to resist. Despite a negative-looking worldwide economy and global consumer sentiment, a crisis can sometimes mean new opportunities for world traders and buyers who can implement smart decisionmaking and sourcing. Even though dark clouds continue to gather over Europe, silver linings may still possibly be found in markets such as the United States. India and Brazil, and even Japan and China, which still offer opportunities in various sectors.

Do you know? Tradegood also has dedicated staff working in India to help you find the right suppliers. Just write to for help!


Rising Wages Blunt Chinese Factories’ Competitive Edge hina, the ‘world’s factory’, is losing its shine. And to a great extent this has been the result of the rise in workers’ wages in most major cities. How has this happened?

Rising, rising, rising

Although the international financial crisis saw a minimal increase in the basic wage in 2009 in China, a wave of big wage increases th nevertheless materialized in 2010. The 12 Five-Year Plan emphasized that residents’ income should grow commensurately with economic development and that labor wages should grow commensurately with labor productivity. As a result, many cities raised the minimum wage for workers. According to basic salary statistics issued by China Labor Consult, 16 cities raised their minimum wage in the first six months of this year alone, and most of the increases were of over 20%. According to the table below comparing the 16 cities, Sichuan saw the highest raise, of Wage Increases 2010 - 2012 by City City Shenzhen Beijing

Year (Unit: RMB$/ Month) Increase 2012 2011 2010 1500 1320 1100 27.00% 1260 1160 960 23.80%


1310 1160 920 29.80%


1125 980 850 24.40%


1450 1280 1120 22.70%


1320 1140 960 27.20%


870 720 720 17.20%


1240 1100 920 25.80%


1000 820 820 18.00%

Chongqing 1050 870 680 35.20% Sichuan

1050 850 650 38.00%


1100 950 830 24.50%


1000 860 760 24.00%


980 760 760 22.40%


1100 900 710 27.20%


1340 960 960 28.30%

Source: China Labor Consult (Aug, 2012)

38%, a heart-breaking figure for employers, while Shenzhen had the highest basic salary of RMB$1,500 per month, a frightening figure for factory owners.

Month Salary of Blue Collar Workers (2011) Dollar (US$) 300

Wage increases are now very much on the corporate agenda as a result of fierce competition for labor. The situation is particular severe in coastal regions where the cost of living is much higher than in inland cities. Workers are now less willing to travel a long way to earn what is only enough for their daily necessities. The new industrial regions of the inland cities now also engage in inter-provincial competition for labor, while factories along the coastal strip have been lowering their admission standards for workers simply to recruit more labor. Higher wages of course are another important factor. For example, one Shenzhen company announced it would raise the basic wage by as much as 20%. Some industry experts forecast that wages will increase by 20% or even 30% annually over the next five years. The increases in basic wage have had a major impact on China’s manufacturing sector. According to a study conducted by the China Samsung Economic Research Institute in 2010, for every 20% rise in wages, laborintensive industries, including stationery, apparel and footwear, fur, tobacco, furniture and arts and crafts, are being seriously impacted by total production costs rising by more than 1.5%. For capital-intensive manufacturing, such as paper, chemical materials and chemical fibers, etc., as well as technology-intensive manufacturing industries, such as transportation, electrical machinery, communications equipment, and so on, the impact is not quite so great, with total production costs rising by around 1% on average.







Bruma (yangon)

Cambodia (PHNOM PENH)

Vietnam (Ha Noi)

China (Guangzhou)

Source: Japan External Trade Organization (Dec, 2011)

The Fading of the ‘Made in China’ Label

Quoting statistics from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), workers’ wages in 2011 in Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam were far lower than in China – with average wage levels in Vietnam and Cambodia merely half that in China, while wages in Myanmar are one-fifth of China’s! This is definitely a very strong pull factor encouraging manufacturers to leave their darling China. In this situation, more and more manufacturers are looking towards Southeast Asia, where labor costs are so low that the break-even point after paying new set-up costs can be easily achieved over the long term. China’s ‘world factory’ honor is gradually fading away, and the “Made in China” label is facing unprecedented challenges. Business Chain Issue 1


Now it’s lights out for assembly lines which, at their peak, used to work overnight.

Apparel and footwear are labor-intensive industries, and the labor-cost increases in the garment sector have had an adverse effect on the industry’s production distribution. Yue Yuen Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of sports shoes for Nike, Adidas, and other brands and has 50% of its products manufactured in China. The Group abandoned one of its production centers in Dongguan, Guangdong, last year, in line with several other shoe-makers who shared the glory and profits in this region a decade ago. Small and medium-size factories have suffered most from the flood of wage increases, and there have been many reports of factories closing in the Pearl River Delta region. Some apparel manufacturers in the region told local newspapers that as many as 30% of these factories had been driven out of business by high labor costs and exceptionally low profit margins in 2011. This compares with their profit margin of over 20% during the 1990s.

The same situation applies to the sourcing and production departments of retailers. Coach has announced it would reduce the ratio of its China-made products from 85% to below 50% within five years by moving production lines to Vietnam and India to offset high labor costs, according to Lew Frankfort, Chairman and CEO of Coach, in an interview early last year. TSI Holding’s Tokyo STYLE has been investing close to US$1.3 million to build new factories in Vietnam since August 2011. Also lady-brand Honeys’ new factory in Myanmar will start production this fall.

The Return of ‘Made in Europe’ & ‘Made in the USA’ The German Toy Industry Association noted recently that some German toy

manufacturers had begun to relocate their production back to Germany or other European countries in recent years. The reason is simply the labor shortages and higher wages, as well as increased raw material costs and energy prices, in China. The Steiff Company, well known for its classical teddy bears, started its factories in China in 2004, but withdrew back to Germany in 2009. Marklin, a famous model-train brand, has already moved its production lines to Eastern Europe to save on transportation costs and to counter the labor shortage in China. In 2011, the Boston Consulting Group even forecast that, over the next five years, with the gradually closing wage gap between the US and China, offshoring would become a less attractive option and more goods tagged “Made in the USA” would probably be seen in North American stores. While further wage hikes look inevitable, what are buyers going to do with their production plants or suppliers in China? They had better start working on their calculators and world maps before the next wave of wage rises surges in. Or will China devise some means of remaining attractive compared with her new international competitors?

Tradegood Buyer Summit Discover and understand your sourcing partners. We bring real buyers and suppliers together. Shenzhen, China Nov 16 Be at the Summit, or get to know your suppliers through the air. Find your perfect match at


Business Chain Issue 1


ETHICAL SOURCING onsumers are going green. They are also going for ethical. This is how the term ethical sourcing has arisen, and more and more corporates are now including this new standard in their purchasing practice.

Goodbye to sweatshops

Ever since the national anti-sweatshop campaign in the 1990s, clothing and sportsgear conglomerates such as Nike, GAP, Reebok, and Adidas have been implementing social-responsibility initiatives in their management and purchasing sectors.

understanding suppliers’ constraints and concerns, and suppliers interpreting Nike’s reasons for such moves.

As noted in Nike CSR reports, the number of suppliers meeting its qualification has been on the increase. What’s more, for Nike, was that valuable, lasting partnerships were nurtured with its suppliers, an important element in a healthy supply chain. More of the above-mentioned companies began their own CSR programs, establishing collaborative strategies with their suppliers, sometimes even with their suppliers’ suppliers, to cope with the changes in consumer behavior.

Supplier Empowerment

Wal-Mart, the giant retailer, takes both profits and social responsibility very seriously. Early in 2010, Wal-Mart introduced a training program to more than 60,000 female staff scattered across India, China, Pakistan and Central America. Through this training, Wal-Mart not only uplifted the technical standard of its workers and hence productivity, but also improved the long-term living standards of its workers, and having a positive impact at the individual and family levels.

Nike, being criticized above all others, started working with suppliers in the developing world in order to avoid overtime, child workers, work harassment and abuse. It has introduced a code of social responsibility to its suppliers covering some 700 factories in 52 countries, accounting for around 800,000 workers. At first the road was not smooth for Nike’s new plan. It was hard to get so many suppliers working towards a new goal as many of them were very cost-conscious and had never heard of corporate social responsibility. During the early stages of its factory assessments, Nike experienced stubborn or even hostile factory owners, who basically did not understand why Nike was checking the small details of their production processes and putting so many limitations in place. The situation improved when both sides got to know each other deeper: Nike

Protest against GAP sweatshop in Washington, DC, in late 2002. A major lesson for global retailers.

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In November 2011, in addition to frontline training in production, Wal-Mart launched its Supplier Development Program with the aim of developing environmentally and socially friendly practices in its supplier factories. Wal-Mart is convinced that accountability and transparency are crucial for a successful supply chain, and the new program was tailored around these two elements. Assessment was made against suppliers’ recruitment and employment practices, compensation, effective factory–worker communication, health and safety, and environment. By uncovering the weaknesses and problems of their suppliers, Wal-Mart is trying to eliminate those banes of modern sourcing, including under-age labor, dangerous working environment, and pollution. As stated by Stella Bray, Wal-Mart director of ethical sourcing, in a media interview earlier: “What it does is make them (suppliers) a better resource. It gives peace of mind, so what we do is make sure we communicate back to merchandising, and back to sourcing, how well the suppliers are doing. Which ones are struggling, which ones are doing well, and which ones don’t want to participate.” Over 100 suppliers have taken part in the voluntary initiative since launch, in which both participating suppliers and Wal-Mart have

observed enhanced productivity, better worker retention and improved product quality.

Love from the Coffee Bean

As regards the beverage industry, Starbucks, the coffee lover’s best friend worldwide, has implemented a holistic approach to CSR. Its program, referred to as Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices, includes ethical sourcing for coffee beans, tea and cocoa, as well as farmer loans and forestconservation schemes. Through some 200 social, economic, and environmental indicators in C.A.F.E., Starbucks was hoping to ensure quality delivery of its beverage to each consumer, as well as to protect farmers’ interests and Mother Nature, thus making everything balanced in a sustainable manner.

The same policy was prioritized to purchasing of other items such as in-store furniture, merchandise, and so on. With the help of third-party verifiers on some of those inspections, Starbucks was able to conduct more than 500 factory assessments since the launch of C.A.F.E. in 2006. Some 26 factories not meeting its standards were discontinued, making sure that Starbucks blended, roasted, and packed fresh quality coffee only.

The right thing to do

Doing ethical sourcing might sound somewhat redundant at first glance. Yet, it is not something that buyers and suppliers can overlook in a globalized market where consumers can get hold of information easily – they want to know who produces their milk powder or sofa and, in some cases, they are actually able to trace this information on their own. Preventing corporate disaster and being nice to both humans and the environment – this is a simple and smart choice.


Find My Factory

Directory Tool of Authenticated Factories

ind My Factory has been developed by Intertek to meet the business and due-diligence needs of key decision makers in procurement and compliance to manage corporate values and supply chain risk. It is the world’s largest living database of real consumer products factories with over 30,000 authenticated identities. To make sure buyers can get trusted information on factories, each factory in the database is verified by Intertek and remarked with its unique Trust ID. Users can find supplier partners by different criteria such as country, product category and company name. Input factory name for instant search 100+ countries 20+ product classes 180+ product types

Subscription 1-month package: US$39.99 2-month package: US$69.99 Display of search results found in the living database.

12-month package: US$199.99* *Available at Apple App Store only.


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Apple App Store & Android Google Play

Simple and neat interface to look for suppliers.

Subscribers get unlimited viewing of full factory profiles by clicking “Details”.

Five Hong Kong snacks you shouldn’t miss!


Fish Ball

An all-time favorite “street food” in Hong Kong! Its springy but firm texture makes it best snack ever. Try your fish balls in plain soup, curry sauce or spicy sauce at any street corner and you gonna come back again.

Egg Tart

A must-have snack when you're around! It’s just a perfect combination of the crispy cookie crust and the sweet smooth egg custard. Served hot, the smell is seductive enough for you to ignore fat and calories that come in with together.

Egg Puff

ith its proximity to China and being one of the world’s leading financial center, Hong Kong is a place frequently visited by business travelers. Here, we show you the five Hong Kong snacks you shouldn’t miss!

Simply made with egg, sugar, wheat powder, milk and water, it’s crunchy on the outside but spongy and soft in the inside. On top of original favour, there are new favours such as chocolate, taro, sesame, coconut and so on. It’s absolutely worth to wait in a line for half an hour for such a delicious bite.

Pineapple Bun

First thing first, there is no pineapple on or inside the bun! This iconic sweet pastry uses sugary top crust to resemble the epicarp of a pineapple, and that’s the name’s origin. Easily found in every local restaurant, the bun is a great breakfast or afternoon tea. The best way to have it is fresh out of the oven, and to be more luxurious, to have it with a thick piece of butter stuffed the middle.

Hong Kong-style French Toast

Heavenly yummy for tea break! It is only all about deep frying two slices of bread with peanut butter or kaya jam filling, and soaked in beaten egg, then served with a slab of butter and big load of syrup. It’s guilt-ridden to have it all, but just good to cut it into 9 square pieces to share joy and fat with friends!

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Seoul – from more perspectives!


sing mobile phones and tablets from Samsung? Having Kimchi as appetites for lunch? Putting on lipsticks and BB creams by Korean brands? Southern Korea is much more than a place for these recalls. Get excited with Korea’s capital, Seoul!

Day-to-night Shopping

Ladies, get your cards and Korean cash ready at Seoul for all sort of fashion, shoes, bags, cosmetic, skincare and branded items! You can spend a whole day at indoor shopping centres or stores clustered at streets, here are some good picks: Lotte Shopping Mall – family-friendly destination catering all-round needs of you and your kids.

Ewha Women’s University Fashion Street – located next to Ewha Women’s University, the street is filled with buzz of teenage girls. Where to: Ewha Women’s University Station, Seoul Metro Line 2 Dongdaemun – doing both wholesaling and retailing, digging up latest bits and pieces here needs a lot of time and price bargaining! Where to: Dongdaemun Stadium Station, Seoul Metro Line 1 or 4

Enticing Dining

Out of all those delicious dishes and snacks in Seoul, these are simply your must-try: Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market – over 800 marine stores to choose from and compare prices, simply a heaven for seafood lovers! Dare to take a living octopus right at the stall for freshest taste? Where to: Noryangjin Station, Seoul Metro Line 1

Where to: Exit 8 of Euljiro 1-ga Station, Seoul Metro Line 2

Glittering Lotte Mall for both tourists and local residents.


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Um... Heaven for women but hell for men?

You can almost smell the taste of ocean.

Sindang-dong Spicy Rice Cake – Put on an apron, yes, an apron, to get yourself prepared for mixing chewy rice cake in spicy soup. Enjoy the fun of DIY and mouthwatering rice cake Where to: Exit 8 of Sindang-dong Station, Seoul Metro Line 6

Cultural Savvy

Spending some hours in local museum is always a good way to understand more of the land. Afterall, travel is more than shop and eat. National Museum of Korea – Like studying ceramics, calligraphy or crafts? Indulge yourself in this 3-storey museum which holds more than 200,000 pieces of exhibition items. You might want to plan your route ahead at the museum’s website to save time. Website: Where to: Exit 2 of Ichon Station, Seoul Metro Line 4

It’s not as spicy as it looks, no worries!

An event at the museum, celebrating of the return of Oegyujanggak Uigwe (document of the royal family of Joseon Dynasty) from France.

Seoul Teddy Bear Museum – Why teddy bears in seoul? Don’t ask. If you are a big fan of teddy, just go. If you are not, just go with your girlfriends or little girls. Have fun! Where to: 15-minute taxi ride from Exit 6 of Dongguk University Station, Seoul Metro Line 3

Refreshing Forest

Give yourself a break from the concrete forest or hectic schedule, we are having too much toxic gas and pollutants every day. Geared up and come to Bukhansan National Park, which takes up about 8,500m2 and well covered with vivid greenery and forest. If you are lucky, you may bump into lovely wild creatures. Website: Knp/Bukhansan/Intro/Introduction. aspx?MenuNum=1&Submenu=Npp The Park is no easy game for beginners. You might want to join some tours at the official website.

Stunning landscape of Bukhansan National Park.

Something essential Currency Won (w) is the official currency in Southern Korea. Credit cards are widely accepted in shopping malls only. So please spare enough cash when going on streets. Transportation There are 9 lines in Seoul Metro with clear labels of exits and other important information. Taxi is an easy and quick alternative. You can hire taxi in white and orange bodies on road for instant ride. Advance booking of black taxi offers even higher safety and service quality. Phone It’s better to rent a mobile phone and use local phone number if you are staying for a longer period. Major mobile operators in Seoul provide online renting services which you can receive your local mobile number before departing, and get the phone at designated location after arrival. Security Seoul is hygienic and safe, be finger-crossed. Clinics and hospitals are easily accessible. In case of emergency, you can dial 1339, 24-hr multi-lingual emergency hotline.

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Launch of Tradegood at MAGIC Show


Supply Chain Business done right t the largest apparel and footwear sourcing expo in North America, Tradegood was officially launched!

Meeting with US officials for the Return of “Made in USA” Tradegood is honored to meet with two US officials, Mr. Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles and Mr. Francisco J. Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade of the US Department of Commerce, deliberating a heat topic in major news recently – the return of “Made in USA”.

Launch of Tradegood by (from left) Mr. Kevin Burke, President and CEO of AAFA, Mr. Andre Raghu, Chief Strategy Officer of Tradegood, Mr. William Quilindo, Chief Operations Officer of Tradegood and Mr. Avedis Seferian, President and CEO of WRAP.

Formerly known as iSupplier Intelligence (ISI), Tradegood comes to the supply chain industry with the same high quality – visibility, connection and authenticity, but with something extra – a smiley face. At the trade show, Tradegood was introduced to hundreds of apparel and footwear buyers from around the globe, exciting them with how Tradegood creates confidence for them, and thus eliminating blind spots and risk. More breathtaking is the Official Launch Ceremony, where the joy was shared by two major industry groups in the US – American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP). The next stop for Tradegood is China – a series of Launch Events at six major cities in November! You are welcome to join us and reserve your seats at our website. Stay tuned for your turn to be greeted by the smiley face!

As a global sourcing community, Tradegood leads buyers not only to suppliers from Bangladesh or China, but also from the US. Don’t be surprised by how far or how close Tradegood goes with you! The subject is highly regarded by the US government and Tradegood is working closely with officials on ground work for development on the Tradegood Cafe concept. Look forward to more announcements in the future.

Meeting with Mr. Francisco J. Sánchez, Under Secretary for International Trade of the US Department of Commerce (Middle).

Find Your Perfect Match at TradegoodTM Café

Good news for coffee lovers in New York – an exciting new plan for you to chill out when talking to your suppliers in China on new buttons production! We are proud to bring you the Tradegood Café, a place where buyers can meet up with suppliers or Tradegood experts, brainstorming ideas and exploring opportunities. Sounding cool and smelling good, isn’t it? The Café is located at 254 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019. Our second Café is coming to New York Fashion District soon, and more will be coming to other regions. Go to to find your perfect match. Get a grip of your supply chain, as it says!

Fascinated buyers join Tradegood community at the booth.


Business Chain Issue 1

VIP Breakfast with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Second to right).

Change is good.

To better connect suppliers to people in the world's biggest markets, ISI is relaunching as Tradegood. Visit to enjoy a higher level of success in finding the right fit and to discover the benefits of operating in a trusted global market place. TM

You're invited to Tradegood Launch Events in China Nov-05 Guangzhou Nov-07 Dongguan Nov-09 Shanghai Nov-12 Quanzhou Nov-14 Qingdao Nov-16 Shenzhen RSVP:

Business done right Business Chain Issue 1

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Business Chain Issue 1

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Business Chain Issue 1  
Business Chain Issue 1  

This issue covers a story on the consumer performance in major continents in 2012. Rising labor wages in China and ethical sourcing were fea...