Chinese Foreign Trade Companies Rise in Value Chain Through Innovation
Chinese Foreign Trade Companies Rise in Value Chain Through Innovation

Chinese Foreign Trade Companies Rise in Value Chain Through Innovation

The East China Fair, known as a “barometer of foreign trade,” successfully returned to an offline format in Shanghai from July 12 to 15 after three years of COVID-19 disruptions. As one of China’s largest trade exhibitions, this fair has become a prominent event for the country’s foreign trade enterprises. Organizers reported that this year’s edition attracted nearly 35,000 domestic and international buyers from over 110 countries and regions.

The fair showcased a diverse range of exhibitors representing industries such as garments, textiles, and home products, highlighting the evolution of Chinese manufacturers. These companies have shifted their focus from producing high-quality commodities to embracing innovation and enhancing the competitiveness of their products. This transformation has solidified China’s position as a key player in the international trade arena.

Zhejiang Jiaxin Silk Corp., Ltd., a regular participant at the fair for over 30 years, unveiled a new textile product that combines collagen-modified nylon fiber with silk. Wu Huiping, deputy director of the company’s technology center, enthusiastically explained the product’s features, including comfort, sun protection, and antibacterial properties. Wu emphasized that the product aligns with the demands of popular outdoor brands in foreign markets. The company has also adopted online showrooms and 3D design software to facilitate communication with overseas customers and customize products according to their requirements. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the company’s use of new technologies resulted in an impressive 40 percent sales growth in 2022.

Another exhibitor, Zhejiang Truelove Fashion Home Textile Co., Ltd., captivated visitors with their vibrant and intricately patterned blankets. The company’s business manager, Lin Danping, revealed plans for an upcoming “Industry 4.0” intelligent factory, set to begin production later in the year. With a substantial investment of 1.28 billion yuan (approximately 179.46 million U.S. dollars), the factory aims to enhance efficiency, reduce costs by 40 percent, and expand into emerging markets. This investment demonstrates their commitment to innovation and market expansion.

Renowned British entrepreneur Nick Evans, with over 40 years of experience in sourcing from China, acknowledges the remarkable transformation in Chinese foreign trade companies. He highlights their increasing ability to develop products independently while maintaining cost-effectiveness and incorporating ingenious ideas to meet the demands of the new generation of consumers.

Preliminary statistics from the fair indicate a turnover of 2.18 billion U.S. dollars over the four-day event. This success is mirrored in China’s overall foreign trade, which experienced steady growth in the first half of the year, with total goods imports and exports reaching 20.1 trillion yuan. This marks the first time China’s goods imports and exports have exceeded 20 trillion yuan in the January-June period.

The impressive growth of China’s foreign trade can be attributed to both technological innovation by Chinese companies and the introduction of new policies by the central and local governments to improve the business environment. For instance, the State Council issued a guideline document in April aimed at stabilizing the scale and improving the structure of foreign trade. Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce spearheaded the resumption of offline exhibitions. Xiao Lu, an official from the ministry, emphasized their commitment to utilizing major trade fairs, supporting trade enterprises in attending overseas fairs, and promoting the accelerated development of new foreign trade business models, including the development of processing trade.

The 31st East China Fair serves as a testament to the progress made by Chinese foreign trade companies, as they ascend the value chain through innovation and adapt to the changing global market demands.


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