Export Growth China Launched

November 17 2014

Export Growth China Launch

China now a reality for Australian Small businesses

More small and medium sized businesses from across Australia might soon have their products on the shelves in China, thanks to a ground-breaking initiative launched by peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.

Export Growth China has been officially unveiled at a ceremony in Sydney attended by NSW Business Chamber Deputy President Trevor Cairney and CEO Stephen Cartwright, the Vice President of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Mr Yu Ping, and representatives of Austrade and the NSW Government.

The program will utilise a custom designed showroom in Shanghai, which will feature Australian products ready to be sold to Chinese wholesale buyers.

“Export Growth China addresses the gap in the market to provide export assistance to SME’s, and is the only dedicated Business Chamber program that connects SME products and services with China export opportunities,” said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of the NSW Business Chamber.

“This is the biggest and boldest project ever undertaken in the 190 year history of the Chamber movement in Australia. The possibilities for business and jobs growth in Australia on the back of this program are almost endless.

“This has required a significant capital investment from the NSW Business Chamber, but our visionary Board of Directors has seen the potential benefits for business owners and the national economy.

“In basic terms, Australian businesses who are keen to break into the Chinese market will send us their samples and then, for a small fee, we will display these samples in the Chamber’s showroom in Shanghai, market these products to Chinese buyers and match them with Australian companies.

“This is not a retail store, but a high end facility in the Shanghai international zone where many Chinese wholesale buyers are based.

“If a product does generate interest from the Chinese market, we will then work with the Australian company to facilitate individual trade agreements so that they can retail their products throughout China.

“What this does is substantially reduce the risks and costs to SME Exporters by offering a low cost export entry point, as well as end-to-end assistance - from identification of an opportunity to the ultimate export sale.

“Rather than commencing the incredibly time consuming, costly and often frustrating process of getting Australian products on the shelves in Chinese stores, all they have to do is register to become part of this program and find out for themselves whether their product is suited to the Chinese market.

“I was in China last month where I appointed a Country Manager of our program in Shanghai. The showroom will be fully staffed and stocked with Australian products by the middle of next year.

“This initiative has been something we have been working on for more than two years. I led a trade delegation of Australian SMEs to Shanghai in early 2012, and I was struck by how well other countries, including New Zealand, marketed themselves and their products.

“Upon my return to Australia, it became clear that there was a gap in the market. Exporting can be a frightening prospect for small and medium sized businesses, particularly those from regional Australia.

“China with a population of over 1.3 billion, has a strong emerging market with average 8.8% GDP growth per annum. It’s now Australia’s number one export market with 250 million emerging middle class citizens with a known preference for clean, green and safe products.

“Australian small businesses have products that fit these ever increasing demands, but the complexity and costs can be daunting for the smaller players.

“The strength of the national Chamber movement means that we can take a lot of the heartache away from these business owners and ‘hold their hand’ through the entire process.

“We will be there every step of the way and keep them updated on the interest in their products from the Chinese buyers.

“Our intelligence on the ground in China will be able to provide real time advice – it might be that their labelling or packaging may need to be redesigned for the local market, or the size or ingredients of their products might need to be better tailored for the specific market.

“Any member of a Chamber of Commerce throughout Australia is able to take advantage of this opportunity.

"So many business owners across Australia have told me that they are ready to back the strength of their product internationally, but haven’t known where to start. That’s now been taken care of, and the Chamber movement will be alongside them every step of the way.

"What I would suggest is that keen SMEs should act quickly. As of today we are taking registrations, and the whisper campaign has already seen us inundated in recent weeks as business owners have heard about our new service offering in China,” Mr Cartwright said.

Business owners interested in finding out more information should visit the Export Growth China website or call 1800 505 529.

Export Growth China is an initiative of the Australian Chamber movement and this activity received funding from the Australian Government as part of the Asian Business Engagement Plan.

Media Contact: Damian Kelly, 0401 773 825.