Philexport-Cebu to open China helpdesk

() - March 26, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - To start off its aggressive move to capture the huge market in China, PhilExport-Cebu announced that it will be opening a “China Helpdesk” in the next few weeks.

PhilExport-Cebu executive director Fred Escalona said that the opening of the facility is expected to encourage Cebuano exporters to maximize the potential of the Chinese market, as easier facilitation of exports is assured, making China as a market rather than a competitor.

“We are intensifying our efforts to further promote trading with China. We see China now as a big market, not as competitor anymore,” said Escalona.

While China is one of the countries in the world that produces “billionaires” Cebuano exporters should take advantage of this development, specifically that Cebu products like furniture, home decors and furnishings, and fashion accessories are considered as high end and of sophisticated design.

Records showed that total consumer purchase of furniture, home decor housewares in 2010 in China reached to US$10.87 billion, a big jump from US$6.58 billion recorded in 2009.

The total import amount of furniture-home decor houseware in 2010 posted at US$3.25 billion from only US$1.94 billion in 2009.

Earlier, the Business One GTC, an international buyers purchasing conference organizer in China, headed by Henry Hwang was in Cebu to partner with exporters here through PhilExport to enter the growing Chinese market who are demanding for high quality imported products.

The Philippines’ products, according to Hwang are highly regarded products among Chinese consumers specifically in furniture, home furnishing and even fashion jewelry.

Huang said in China now, consumers prefer to buy “anything-imported” as Chinese buyers have issues against their locally-made products, such as problems in safety, credibility and quality.

“You just have to find the right way. Entering China is not as expensive and complicated at all,” Hwang said.

He said Chinese buyers are “status-conscious” now, they buy something with quality and most of all—imported.

Exporters, particularly the furniture, home decors, fashion accessories, had been urged to strongly penetrate the Asian market, including China, in order to sustain operations, while the US and Europe market are still under-pressure. — Ehda M. Dagooc

One of the first steps to link with Chinese traders, and directly connect to over a billion consumer-base in China, is to participate shows and conferences specifically designed for imported products, such as the Business One GTC, Huang said.

Escalona said the opening of the China Help Desk, is just the start of the pro-active stance of the Cebu export sector to capture the significantly growing market in China.

Initially, the help desk will be opened to facilitate the participation of Cebuano exporters to the upcoming trade and marketing events in Cebu that will be held this year organized by GTC on June 2-5, September 22 to 26 and December 10 to 24. (FREEMAN)

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