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It’s no surprise for anyone that the economic growth in China makes the country to become the world’s largest economy according to the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in September 2014 measured in purchasing power. That moves the country into the ranks of middle income countries and will have a profound effect worldwide.
But recently since last year, China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years as property prices dropped, companies and local governments struggled under heavy debt burdens, keeping pressure on central government to take serious steps to avoid a sharper downturn according to Reuters.
After roughly 30 years of GDP growth by 10%, now China’s GDP grew by 6.9% and the added-value industrial output grew by 6.2% in November 2015. China’s Foreign Direct Investment increased by 7.9 percent to USD 114.04 billion in the first eleven months of the year.
Exports from China declined by 6.8 percent to USD197.24 billion in November of 2015, the fifth straight month of fall, while imports to China dropped 8.7 percent to USD143.14 billion, following a 18.8 percent decline in October. It is the 13th straight month of decline, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand. Exports and Imports in China is reported by the General Administration of Customs.
How will the slower growth of China’s economy influence the European market and especially the Swedish companies’ investment in China?
This question is relevant for many Swedish organisations who are interested in the Chinese market. Recently I held a lecture for a Swedish bank in Skövde, the topic of the lecture was about the Chinese current economic situation and its impact for the Swedish companies and organizations who are going to trade or invest in China.
”The country’s period of miraculous break-neck growth is over, but let’s get over it,” said a commentary on the official Xinhua news service, referring to a long string of double-digit expansion.
China’s economic reforms must be implemented even if it becomes painful, stated Premier Minister Li Keqiang after the People’s Congress meeting in March. At the same time, it seems a new wave of cutbacks in state-owned enterprises will be on the way. Swedish companies have increased their use of RMB in their business with China in the last two years. Globally, the Chinese currency, standing before a breakthrough this year, according to the experts from Commercial Bank. Major changes in the regulatory framework is underway for foreign investment in China. It will be easier to establish companies in non-sensitive sectors of the economy while the control tightened in sectors such as telecommunications, energy and agriculture. The example of the free trade zone in Shanghai spread. Three new free trade zones should be set up in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin. It could increase with time. Most northern European and German companies expect higher sales in China this year, according to SEB’s latest survey.
China’s economic growth will probably continue for some time and, if it does, it is going to have a profound impact on the world’s economy.
Source: China Internet Watch
According to ”China Internet Watch”, Chinese online shoppers prefer to take advantage of the occasional promotions to buy imported goods; and, they also prefer imported goods at promotions, accounting for 65% of online FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sales according to Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel research.
Online shoppers are very interested in imported goods and goods on sales, which is one of the biggest features of China online shopping. About 38% of online sales come from big online activities such as Double 11 and Double 12. Alibaba revenues reached 57.1 billion yuan (US$8.98 billion) on Double 11 2014, which set a record in history of online shopping. Imported products are also very popular on the internet, which accounts for about 40% of total online sales while offline only for about 10%.
China FMCG market grew by 5.4% in 2014; the growth three years ago was 11.8%. However, online FMCG sales grew by 34% in 2014. 60% of online retail sales came from newly created demand while 40% as replacement of offline sales.
The variety of FMCG goods Chinese consumers buy online are limited. Skin care products, baby formula milk powder and baby diapers, health-related, and easy delivered goods sell best online. Top ten popular online FMCG sales categories account for 77% of the total online sales while the offline only 43%.
Chinese consumers are likely to purchase overseas goods and luxury or upscale goods although sometimes that prices online are much higher than those offline. For example, the average price of toothbrushes online is 102% higher than that of offline, as well as beer and hair conditioner.
Source: China Internet Watch
We always want to find people who can inspire us. Being able to share your story with others and having the strength and courage to be honest with yourself can give inspiration to those around you. Today I had the opportunity to tell my life’s journey from China to Sweden for students from different countries at the Folkuniversitet of Skövde. When I saw the students I reminded myself when I came to Sweden for around 17 years ago, who could not so much Swedish and everything was new for me. In the beginning my greatest desire was to master the language and find a job. My story made me think about what I had gone through in my life, from my study and career in China to my professional life in Sweden and how I became an entrepreneur. It was a long journey with lots of challenges, joy and learning. By showing them that I was comfortable with myself and confident about whom I am, and at the same time being passionate about my work can hopefully provide an example for them. My greatest wish to them is to believe in themselves and determine a plan to achieve in their life while maintaining a positive outlook.
I really hope that my story inspired the students at the Folkuniversitet of Skövde. What I took with me today is a great joy and a good time to being with them. I am convinced that they will succeed in their new country for any challenges that may arise. It was a fantastic day!
I was so pleased and honored to meet the delegation from South China yesterday in Stockholm. During the meeting we received information about the different sectors that our chinese counterpart are interested for collaboration with Swedish companies. We hope that this meeting is the begining of a sustainable cooperation between our Chinese partner with Swedish companies who will show the great interest. It is also my passion to provide assistance which will lead to a successful business journey.
Recently, I have just completed a Chinese Culture Awareness Training at a large company in Skovde. All participants showed great interest in this program. Evaluation and feedbacks I received was very positive which increased my interest to support Swedish companies to understand more about the Chinese business culture, mentality and their leadership. This can facilitate their cooperation with their Chinese partners.
Over the past two weeks, I held a Chinese cultural training at a large company in Skövde. After the training I received positive reviews and feedback from all of the participants. My cultural training highlighted issues about Chinese business culture, leadership and collaboration which was of great interest to this company. I hope that this cultural training will contribute positively to their cooperation with China.