Central, Eastern European firms eye massive Chinese consumer market

Updated: May 17, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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This photo taken on May 16, 2023 shows an exhibition zone of the China-Central & Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Expo in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province.(Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)

NINGBO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair kicked off Tuesday in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo, providing more opportunities for goods and services from Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) to tap into the Chinese consumer market.

The five-day expo has attracted the participation of more than 3,000 exhibitors, including over 400 exhibitors from CEEC and other European countries, displaying over 5,000 kinds of products ranging from agricultural food, wines and cosmetics to intelligent manufacturing and services trade.

As the guest country of honor this year, Hungary has 35 companies participating in the expo, intending to leverage the expo as a platform to showcase unique Hungarian products to the Chinese market and strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries, said Gabor Jenei, director with the Hungarian export promotion agency.

It is the third time for Wink, a wine brand from Hungary, to participate in the China-CEEC expo. The wine brand entered the Chinese market in 2012 and has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and Ningbo, and also established online sales channels on China's e-commerce platforms.

"As the world's second-largest consumer market, China is witnessing vigorous consumption vitality. We ship around 500,000 bottles of noble rot wines from Hungary to China every year, with an annual sales value of up to 60 million yuan (around 8.6 million U.S. dollars)," said Sun Jinsong, general manager of the company's branch in Xiamen.

At this year's expo, the company's display commodities have expanded from wines to food, skin care products, and home textiles supplies, among others, to meet the different needs of Chinese consumers.

"The expo is a superb opportunity to showcase more products from Hungary to Chinese customers. We hope to bring closer the ties between the company and the Chinese market via the expo," said Sun.

As a first-time exhibitor at the China-CEEC expo, Grzegorz Sienkiewicz, chief executive officer of the Polish cosmetics company Four Starlings, was excited to see his exhibition booth dotted with visitors.

This photo taken on May 16, 2023 shows exhibits displayed at the China-Central & Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Expo in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province.(Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)

Founded in 2015, the Polish company mainly makes natural cosmetics products, and its products have entered more than 300 retail stores globally. It selected the company's bestsellers such as soap and face cream for this year's expo.

"With massive opportunities and supportive policies, the world's second-largest consumer market holds irresistible appeal to global businesses," he said. "The consumption concept of Chinese consumers has changed in recent years, and more people pursue natural products and quality life. I believe my company will have massive development in China."

Andrzej Juchniewicz, chief representative of the Polish investment and trade agency in China, said the agency organized about 11 Polish companies from the cosmetics, agricultural food, and services trade sectors for the expo.

"The expo is an important window for Polish brands to accelerate their entry into and expansion in the Chinese market. We hope to find Chinese agents through the exhibition to bring more quality products to China," he said.

"In the future, Polish companies hope to expand their market in more industries, such as gaming, science and technology, and medicine, in China," he added.

With an exhibition area of 220,000 square meters, the 3rd China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair is expected to receive about 10,000 professional buyers and 100,000 visitors, with estimated purchase orders for CEEC goods worth over 10 billion yuan.

As a trade catalyst between China and CEEC, the expo is playing a more prominent role in boosting consumer confidence, unleashing consumption potential, and connecting CEEC consumer goods with the Chinese market, said Zhang Yadong, director of the Ningbo CEEC expo and cooperation promotion center.

Data from China's commerce ministry showed that since 2012, China's trade with CEEC has grown at an average annual rate of 8.1 percent, and China's imports from CEEC have increased at an average rate of 9.2 percent annually. In the first quarter of this year, the two-way trade reached 33.3 billion U.S. dollars, up 1.6 percent yearly.

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia