Wikipedia says the current population of China is over 1.3 billion. This is a staggering figure and shows that the potential market for your business is nothing short of enormous.

This makes the Chinese market well worth investigating – particularly as the Free Trade Agreement signed by New Zealand and China in 2008 aims to ease trade between the two countries.

China now has a strong and dynamic economy and it’s still growing. There is money in China and demand for overseas’ goods is increasing. In short, its import market is booming.

If you’re thinking about exporting your goods to China, make sure the chinese market is right for you before you take the plunge:

  • Find out if there’s demand for your goods. Conduct extensive market research. Find out about buyer behaviour in China, what the competition is like and think about where your products might fit in.

  • Go there. If you’re serious about exporting to China you need to visit the country. Spend time researching and planning your trip. Know where you want to go, what you want to find out and what you want to achieve.

  • Be seen. Time your trip to coincide with a trade fair. Here you can talk to potential buyers as well as other foreign importers. Use this as a networking opportunity. Hand out your business cards and follow up contacts when you return.

  • Think about distribution. Exporting your goods directly to China can be time-consuming and you will need to be familiar with China’s complex import customs, regulations and controls. Alternatively, you could establish a business partner or find a qualified agent or distributor with good sales contacts.

  • Employ a good translator. Having someone on hand who speaks the language fluently and understands the country’s culture will prove an invaluable investment.

  • Be cautious. When entering any new market it’s always wise to proceed with caution. Don’t rush into things and do carry out thorough checks on companies and their representatives before you enter into a contract with them.

  • Reduce your trade risk. If you manage the risks, you can reduce them. Speak to your bank. They’ll be able to advise you how best to secure payment for shipped goods and how to manage foreign currency volatility.

We’ll be posting more information about how you can reduce trade risk next week. Sign up for email alerts so you don’t miss it.