Asian exporters to gain better access to Chinese market

3 November 2016
ITC News
Small and medium-sized enterprises in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Nepal receive ITC training to export to China.

Exporters in Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Nepal are better positioned to access the Chinese market following training from the International Trade Centre (ITC).

A series of training workshops organized in each of these least developed countries (LDCs), from 27 September to 11 October, tackled some of the biggest challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by delivering practical coaching and providing information on Chinese market conditions and requirements, export procedures and insights on how to approach and transact with Chinese customers.

More than 100 SMEs attending the trainings also gained knowledge and skills related to creating business plans and identifying the required resources to enter the Chinese market.

The training workshops were organized as part of the ‘Enhancing Export Capacities of Asian LDCs for Intra-regional Trade’ project, implemented by ITC and funded by the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. 

Breaking into the Chinese market

‘The Chinese retail market is growing at over 12% annually, unlocking huge potential for export-oriented SMEs of Bangladesh, especially in the leather, footwear, jute and jute-diversified businesses,’ said Humayun Rashid, Acting President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ‘The trade imbalance between Bangladesh and China is exceeding $9 billion and such training workshops will help boost exports from Bangladesh to China.’

China grants preferential tariffs to LDCs, but Asian LDCs still represent a small share of China’s imports: less than 0.5%. These training workshops represent an opportunity for SMEs – which make up 95% of businesses in Asia and employ 80% of the workforce – to trade with China, taking advantage of their geographical proximity and the preferential market access conditions.

As China is the second largest importing country in the world, establishing trading partnerships there provides an opportunity for Asian LDCs to connect to value chains and integrate into the regional and multilateral trading systems.

The training workshops were led by ITC in partnership with in-country institutions: the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangladesh; the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia; the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and the Trade and Export Promotion Centre of Nepal.

For more information about entering the Chinese market, read the joint Alibaba-ITC publication on ‘E-Commerce in China: Opportunities for Asian Firms’ and the ITC publication on ‘Tropical Fruits and Vegetables in China: Market Overview’.