Hangzhou Market Outlook
Articles,  Blog

Hangzhou Market Outlook

Hi, my name is Celina Lou, and I am the Canadian
Trade Office manager in Hangzhou. Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province.
It is renowned for its high living standards, well-developed infrastructure, and proximity
to Shanghai, only 170 kilometers away, or a quick 60 minute trip by train. Alibaba,
the world’s largest e-business platform, is headquartered in Hangzhou. Located in the South-East coast of China,
Zhejiang Province boasts the fourth largest provincial economy in China, with a GDP exceeding
800 billion dollars Canadian in 2014. Zhejiang is home to more than 55 million residents
and it covers a land area exceeding a hundred thousand square kilometres. It is a leading
province in e-commerce, modern logistics and high-tech. In 2013, Zhejiang’s e-commerce
transactions were roughly 277 billion Canadian dollars The private sector generates over 70% of the
GDP and creates over 90% of new jobs in Zhejiang. Over the past 15 years, Zhejiang’s private
enterprises have consistently accounted for about one third of China’s Top 500 Private
Enterprises, which is the largest proportion in Mainland China. It is also worth mentioning
that Zhejiang has a large number of SMEs and startups. Recently more and more people are paying greater
attention to food safety. Increasing disposable incomes are allowing consumers to enjoy imported
food and beverages. There is strong demand for Canadian food products, which are known
for their high quality. Meanwhile, Chinese e-Commerce platforms are improving accessibility
to Canadian foods as well as to Canadian consumer products, such as health products, nutraceuticals
and cosmetic products. Two of the six pilot cross-border e-commerce
cities announced by the state government are located in Zhejiang province, namely Hangzhou
and Ningbo. Hangzhou’s goal is to become the “e-commerce capital of China” while
Ningbo’s shipping hub facilitates access to international markets. These cross-border
e-commerce platforms allow Canadian SMEs to mitigate the risks associated with entering
new markets. The fast pace of industrial development has
resulted in serious pollution to Zhejiang’s water bodies. In late 2013, the Zhejiang Provincial
Government committed to an investment of 80 billion Canadian dollars over 3 years to manage
water resources in Zhejiang. Potential opportunities include the treatment of wastewater, flood
control, storm water drainage, potable water security and water use efficiency. There are many opportunities in the Ocean
Technology sector. The Ningbo-Zhoushan port in Zhejiang Province is a large comprehensive
harbor with a handling capacity of a hundred million tons. The Zhoushan Fishery is the largest in China, while the Shipu and
Shenjiamen fishing ports are two of the four largest fish producers in China. There are always challenges when doing business
abroad, such as commercial risks, language and culture differences. Although the number of English speakers in
China is rising rapidly, most of the key decision makers in Zhejiang are unable to negotiate
business transactions in English or French. It’s important to hire a qualified interpreter
to assist with general discussions, formal presentations and negotiations. Building trust is essential to business relationships
in China. Expect to spend a considerable amount of time at meetings and banquets with potential
partners. That being said, the pace of doing business
is also quite fast, and local businesspeople expect quick turnaround times for email requests
and decision making. Market conditions change quickly. Tariffs
and rates of duty are constantly being revised and are subject to change without notice,
so it’s important that your market research be up-to-date. The Canadian Trade Office in Hangzhou provides
Trade Commissioner services across Zhejiang province. We can provide you with on-the-ground
intelligence and practical advice on local markets. We offer hands-on knowledge of the
Zhejiang market, and are able to leverage our network of local business contacts to
help you succeed. We are here to help. I look forward to seeing
you in Hangzhou!

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