It has been my privilege to visit China on many occasions and I have got to know the Chinese horticulture industry with the help of our AIPH member, China Flower Association.
Those reading this column in China will already appreciate the scale of the industry there and the way it is growing. For those on the outside then doing business in China can appear daunting.
It is completely true that doing business in China is completely different to doing business anywhere else. It is often not easy to work out the best way in and how to make it work. There can be fears about finance, geography, culture; as well as specific issues like protecting intellectual property. You can either make the decision to leave this market to the Chinese or you can take the plunge and give it a go!
Chinese market too big to ignore
In reality this market is too big to ignore. The growth in it is so huge that in time it will impact your business whether you choose to get involved now or not! Despite talk of reduced economic growth and the trade war with the USA, the growth is still mind-blowingly greater than we have experienced in the west. Urbanisation continues and with it a growing middle class with aspirations for their future and money to spend.
In AIPH we decided to tackle this head on and so we chose China to host our World Ornamental Horticulture Summit on 11-13 September in Beijing. We want to understand how to manage IP in China, we want to understand how to trade with China and we want to understand the market there too. With these three questions in mind we will bring together non-Chinese businesses that are developing in China and Chinese companies that want to develop and trade in partnership with international players. The event is open to everyone and as a bonus you get to visit the amazing AIPH-approved A1 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition.
Whatever your view about business in China is, one thing you cannot do is ignore it! I am looking forward to debating the opportunities in this unique country which, like it or not, will increasingly dominate the future development of the horticulture industry. See you in Beijing!