When I read articles from American newspapers, it seems like the USA buy most of China’s exports. Wrong!
European countries purchase about as much from China as the US, and then there is the rest of the world–this last category is the one that receives most of China’s exports. And its share is growing!
Mike Bellamy explains this trend in Chinese Exporters and New Markets:
In the past 15 years, if there was a China sourcing play to be made by fortune 500 companies, the move was done long ago. All of the big American companies and most of the medium sized companies have found their suppliers in China and have settled into a stable relationship. But the big and medium sized companies in developing countries — in places like Latin America and former Soviet states — are just now getting around to jumping on the China sourcing bandwagon.
Well, not only are these countries late to the outsourcing game, but their economies are often growing much faster. I heard many stories about Russians or Brazilians who are eager to spend their cash. Their QA processes are typically very light, by the way, and they often get burned. It is part of the learning process, I guess…
Ten years ago, if you showed me a pie chart of [Hong Kong trade show] attendees, I bet 70% of the buyers were from Developed Western Nations (N. America, Europe, Aus/NZ). These days I bring Spanish and Russian speaking co-workers with me to handle the growing number of buyers from those areas of the world. I bet the number of attendees from Developed Western Nations is under 40%. That doesn’t mean orders are slowing down for the sellers, it just means the factories are adapting to the new buyers.
Very true! And these newcomers are the ones who sustain China’s continued growth in exports.
Manufacturers like to diversify their portfolio of customers, especially since the brutal recession that hit North America two years ago. So they welcome this new source of business.
The takeaway for importers? Chinese suppliers often have to turn some customers down. They have the choice of whom to serve. Make sure you are seen as a good customer.