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Successful Exhibition at Hong Kong’s Global Sourcing Fair 11/21/2011

China Product InspectionsThis fall, one of our partners, FactoryAudits.com exhibited at one of the largest trade shows in Asia, the Global Sources – China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong.

FactoryAudits.com specializes in product inspections and Factory Audits to help customers ensure product quality, secure imports and save time and money.

FactoryAudits.com was proud to be one of nearly 7,500 exhibitors who spent the month of October networking with more than 62,000 buyers, a record amount of attendees for the Hong Kong show.

The fourteen shows were held concurrently at the Asia World-Expo in Hong Kong and attracted some of the world’s top companies – such as Best Buy, Samsung, Levi’s, Office Depot, Toys “R” Us and more.

If you are interested in learning more about their product inspection & factory auditing services please  click here.

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Monumental Spring Canton Fair Comes to an End 5/6/2011

The 2011 Spring Canton fair came to a close yesterday, May 5th. This year’s import and export fair is considered a monumental session in the event’s 50 year history. Held each year, in Spring and Autumn, businesspeople from all over the world pour their way through the 55 million square meter facility over the course of the 15 day event in Guangzhou. The deals transacted from this session totaled more than 36 billion U.S. dollars, up 5.8% from last year’s Spring session. The fair attracted a record number of foreign traders as well; more than 207,000 foreign traders from more than 150 countries passed through the fair this year.

Although there were fears of this year’s numbers being down due to the economic conditions, business transactions this Spring were very much so on the rise.

The amount of exports with some of the big players rose quite a bit this year. Buyers from the United States entered into 12.4 percent more deals than last spring. European buyers also increased their transactions by 14 percent. Even more impressive than that are the number of deals enacted with the emerging markets of Brazil and Russia, that rose 30 percent this year.

Other countries however saw a decrease in transactions for various reasons. Reports have indicated that trade dropped by 19 percent with Japan due to the various reasons associated with the recent disasters.

Overall, the largest trade fair in China was another giant success. If anyone has any stories or pictures from this Spring’s show, we would love to see them!

Sources:

http://english.cri.cn/6826/2011/04/21/1461s633505.htm\
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90778/90861/7371496.html
http://www.china.org.cn/business/2011-05/06/content_22506711.htm

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109th Spring Canton Fair to Begin this Friday 4/11/2011

109th Canton FairHave you finished planning your trip to this year’s Spring Canton Fair yet? The world’s largest international trade show is almost underway. As always, the Import and Export Fair will be held in Guangzhou, the center of China’s trade region China Import and Export Complex. The fair features over 50,000 exhibits spans over two weeks.

Phase I is set to begin this Friday and lasts through Tuesday, April 19th. Products to on exhibition during Phase I are the following:

  • Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts
  • Machinery
  • Hardware & Tools
  • Building Materials
  • Chemical Products
  • International Pavilion

Phases II and III will be on the following schedules:

Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Consumer Goods
* Gifts
* Home Decorations

Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Textiles & Garments
* Shoes
* Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
* Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products
* Food & Native Produce
* International Pavilion

Additionally, the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) will be held in conjunction with Phase I and Phase II. Everything from modern home furniture to office and laboratory furniture will be available. Home Furniture will be on display from March 18 to the 21st and office furniture will be available from March 27 to March 30th.

If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry there is still time. You need to apply for an “invitation” through the Fair’s website here. Admission is free, but registration typically takes about a week to get your confirmation. Once you receive confirmation, print out the information and take it with you along with a photo ID and a passport photo (or you may take one there).

Spring Canton Fair Location: No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China.

Other Canton Fair Posts:

2011 Spring Canton Fair Dates & Information
Spring Canton Fair Update
108th Canton Fair Review
China’s Canton Fair – October 2010

Please do not hesitate to post any questions, comments or advice for future fair adventurers below.

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2011 Spring Canton Fair Dates & Information 11/24/2010

The 2011 Spring Canton Fair will be here before we know it and if you are planning to attend Asia’s largest import and export fair you will need to do some planning. If you have never been before, here are the basics for getting into the fair:

First, you need to get “invited” to attend, so you apply for the invitation through their portal here. After reviewing your application, which takes about one week typically, you will receive your invitation and confirmation number. Make sure to print this out and bring with you to the fair on your first day. Once at the fairgrounds, you will need to allow about 30-40 minutes for the registration process, in which you are administered your pass (you will need a passport photo or you can take one there for a few dollars). Once you have your pass, you can use this for as many years as you want (as long as the photo is still valid). Oh, and admission is free! Now you are good to spend time wandering through the 50,000 plus exhibits over the 15 day span of the fair.

2011 Canton Fair Essential Information:

When is the 2011 Spring Canton Fair?
Phase 1: April 15-19, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00

Where is the Canton Fair held?
China Import and Export Fair Complex
No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China

Which phase are you going to check out?

Phase 1: April 15-19, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
* Lighting Equipment
* Vehicles & Spare Parts
* Machinery
* Hardware & Tools
* Building Materials
* Chemical Products
* International Pavilion

Phase 2: April 23-27, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Consumer Goods
* Gifts
* Home Decorations

Phase 3: May 1-5, 2011 | 9:30-18:00
* Textiles & Garments
* Shoes
* Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
* Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products
* Food & Native Produce
* International Pavilion

Fun Fact: 2010’s Spring Session brought in over $34 Billion (yes, with a B) in business turnover.

A more detailed breakdown of the types of products in each phase can be found at The Canton Fair’s website.

Also a nice promotional video is posted on their site if you want to get excited about going: Video

2011 Canton Fair

A brief overview from the 2010 Fall Canton Fair:

Date: Phase 1: October 15-19, 2010
Phase 2: October 23-27, 2010
Phase 3: October 31- November 4, 2010
Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex
Sections: Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances/Lighting Equipment/Vehicles & Spare Parts/Machinery/Hardware & Tools/Building Materials/Chemical Products/International Pavilion
Consumer Goods/Gifts/Home Decorations
Textiles & Garments/Shoes/Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products/Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products/Food & Native Produce
Exhibition Space: 1,130,000 M2 (More than 200 football fields combined!)
Number of Booths: 57,136 standard booths
Business Turnover: coming soon
Number of Overseas Buyers: 200,612
Number of Exhibitors: 23,599 exhibitors

Source: http://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/index.asp

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How to Source Products from China. Part 1. 11/11/2010

Sourcing from Chinese manufacturers can be a daunting task.  Many companies, both big and small, don’t know how they should go about sourcing products from China.  To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of tips, cautions, resources and recommendations below.

Starting the China Sourcing Process

The first thing you need to do is figure out which products you want to source and make sure that it makes financial and logistical sense.    Long are the days when you could source just about anything in China and save a significant amount of money.   Rising logistics costs and the valuation of the Chinese RMB have all had an impact on the China Sourcing projects, and you have to make sure that your products are appropriate for sending to overseas manufacturers.  If your products are large in volume for example, you may end up spending every dollar you save on increased logistics costs.  Another thing to take into consideration is lead times.  The average number of days it takes for goods to get from a manufacturer in China to a Customer here in the United States is 28 days, so you have to ask yourself…”will my customers be able to accept this increase in lead times?”

One great way to determine if it makes sense to source from China is to check out what other companies in your industry are doing.  If no one is sourcing in China, there might be a good reason why.  On the other hand, maybe you can be the first one there!

Finding China Suppliers

After you have determined that your products may be a good fit for China sourcing, the next step is to find suppliers.   There are many ways to find suppliers.  Online search engines like Panjiva.com, Alibaba.com, Made-In-China.com, and GlobalSources.com all offer access to hundreds of thousands of Chinese suppliers.  Another way to search for suppliers is by attending trade shows in China that are specific to your industry – this option will give you a much better feel for the types of products in your particular industry that Chinese manufacturers are able to provide, but does require getting on a long haul flight to China and you will need a China Business Visa.  While there are a handful of China Sourcing Trade Shows in the United States every year, you will find trade shows in China to be much larger and will have a significantly larger pool of suppliers to meet with.

Another option is to find and contact a company that specializes in sourcing products from China.  These companies come in all shapes and sizes ans typically follow one of two business models.  Some will identify a Chinese manufacturer, buy the parts and resell them to you (at a profit of course).  This “middle-man” business model has been the most common, but as China sourcing costs have crept higher in recent years, many  companies have been looking to eliminate the middle men and go directly to the suppliers themselves.  Our company charges a fee to establish a source of supply and you can be sure that you are getting the “true” price.  Firms like ours are fewer and far between compared to the companies that use the “broker” approach, but is a preferred option for some.

CAUTION: Make sure you conduct supplier due diligence.

No matter which method you use to identify your suppliers, be sure to do your homework.  Conducting due diligence on your potential manufacturers in China can save you a lot of money.  I have heard countless horror stories about companies sending payment in advance and never receiving goods, receiving 100% defective parts, etc.  Just as with every other part of your business, you are only as strong as your weakest link.  So be sure to research the suppliers with all the resources available to you.  I recommend always asking for references.  Ask the Chinese supplier for references based in your area or your industry.  Use tools like Panjiva.com to validate the customer base that the suppliers claims to have.  And, if this supplier is critical to your business, its probably worth going to China to meet with management, tour the factory and continue to validate the suppliers claims.  If traveling to China doesn’t seem like your cup of tea or if you are inexperienced conducting factory audits, it might be a good idea to solicit the help of a 3rd party audit firm.  There are many of these firms in China, and you can even find firms with offices in the United States.  Our company recently launched a website – FactoryAudits.com –  while we are certainly not the only provider of such services, taking a look at our site will give you a good idea of pricing for audit services.

Ill continue this post over the next few weeks.  Appreciate all your feedback and comments!

Other posts that might interest you:

6 steps to a successful strategic sourcing program

China Manufacturers:  Factory Inspections

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Headed to Asia World Expo? Hong Kong Sky City Marriott just works. Just watch out for the Typhoons :) 11/4/2010

On a recent trip to Hong Kong I decided to book a room at the Hong Kong Sky City Marriott Hotel.  I was coming in late on a Thursday evening last month and needed to be at the Asia World Expo for a Trade Show the next morning.  The hotel is located adjacent to the Asia World Expo and a 1 minute drive to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA or HKG).  I couldn’t have made a better decision – I got a great rate (especially for a nice Hong Kong Hotel).  They have a complimentary shuttle from the arrival hall to the hotel which leaves every 15 minutes and the journey takes all of 80 seconds.  The rooms were great.  In the morning you can almost roll out of bed and hit the Asia World Expo Building which is connected by an elevated walkway from the lobby entrance.  The only thing I had to watch out for was the Category 5 Typhoon Magi which was headed my way the day I arrived.  Fortunately for me the storm headed north and missed HK the following afternoon.

After my stop at the Expo I had to head to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon for a few meetings.  I took the train into the city from the World Expo station – couldn’t have been more convenient.  I was in the city in 25 minutes, connected to the MTR and i was at my meeting.

Bottom line:  If you need a hotel for a trade show or exhibition at Asia World Expo Hong Kong, the Sky City Marriott Hotel just works.  As long as you don’t NEED to be downtown in the evenings, I would even recommend staying here for non Expo trips.  You just cant beat the price in HK.

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108th Canton Fair Review 11/2/2010

Oh my goodness. Never in my life have I experienced anything like the Canton Fair. Literally hundreds of thousands of visitors and tens of thousands of companies exhibiting under one roof. It seemed to be about 3 times the size of the biggest trade show I had ever been to previously in Shanghai.

The fair (which actually continues until November 4th) is the 108th edition of the fair that started 1957. As I mentioned in a previous post about the Canton Fair, I attended this massive trade event that took place last month at the Canton Import and Export Fair Complex located in Guangzhou, China. I was really looking forward to using the fair as an opportunity to identify a few new Chinese Suppliers of furniture for a new project I am working on.    After a few hours (and about 12 miles) of walking around the grounds, I had made a few contacts and had to head back to the airport for a flight to Beijing.  The fair takes place twice every year at the same location.  If you are looking for a trade show to go to in China, I would highly recommend the Canton Fair if you are looking for products in any of the following categories:

Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances, Lighting Equipment, Vehicles & Spare Parts, Machinery, Hardware & Tools, Building Materials, Chemical Products, Consumer Goods, Gifts, Home Decorations, Textiles & Garments, Shoes, Office Supplies, Cases & Bags & Recreation Products, Medicines, Medical Devices & Health Products, Food & Native Produce

The 109th China Import and Export Fair Dates:

Phase One: 15th-19th April, 2011 9:30-18:00

Phase Two: 23rd-27th April, 2011 9:30-18:00

Phase Three: 1st – 5th May, 2011 9:30-18:00

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Guangzhou and Guangdong: What is the difference? 10/21/2010

Guangzhou and Guangdong: What is the difference?

In today’s post I will demystify the difference between two similar-looking words, with two very different meanings. Guangdong (pronounced Gwong-dong) is Southern China’s economic center and one of the wealthiest provinces in China.  Guangzhou (pronounced Gwong-jhoe) is the largest city in the Guangdong province and has been China’s leading international commercial port for over 2,000 years. Guangzhou is the political, economic and cultural center of the province. (See map below)

Guangdong Guangzhou
Type Province City
Location Southeastern China Coast Guangdong Province
Population 95.44 Million USD (2008) 7.6072 Million (2006)
GDP 572.12 Billion USD(2009) 133.5 Billion USD (2009)
FDI 19.2 Billion USD (2009) 11.244 Billion USD (2009)


How did Guangzhou become so strong?

Guangzhou, also called Canton or Kwangchow, is one of the biggest economic zones in China (3rd to be exact), thanks to its proximity to the extremely successful regions of Hong Kong, Macau and its premier access to the Pearl River Delta. The success of these regions began spilling over into Guangdong when labor rates began to increase with the cost of living in Hong Kong. Guangdong’s labor wages are about half of the average monthly wage in Hong Kong.

Guangzhou has grown quickly by offering investment incentives that have helped to attract over 170 of the world’s top 500 multinational companies. The foreign enterprises contributed 11.244 Billion (USD) in foreign capital in 2009; which is over half of the entire province’s FDI. Guangzhou is now the main manufacturing core of the Pearl River Delta region.

Building strength over time, Guangzhou earned 133.5 Billion (USD) GDP in 2009. That is nearly 25% of the entire province’s gross domestic product! With this accomplishment, Guangzhou became the first city in Mainland China to have a per capita GDP of over 10,000 USD.

There is so much going on there!

Guangzhou is also home to the China Import and Export Fair (aka the Canton Fair) which takes place every October and April. The Canton Fair is by far China’s largest and oldest trade fair that been running for over 50 years. Each fair now stretches over three days in order to fit in all of the participants and exhibitors.

Some impressive stats about the Canton Fair:

>200,000 Buyers
>200 countries in attendance
>23,000 Exhibitors
>55,000 Booths
>200 Football Fields in Area (>1.1 Million Sq. Meters)

Some helpful resources I found:

Guangdong Manufacturing & Investment Guide

Guangzhou Government Resource

Invest Guangzhou

Canton Fair Resource

Another China Resource

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China's Canton Fair – October 2010 10/7/2010

Personally I’ve never been to the Canton Fair.  I’ve heard its quite an event and i have always wanted to attend.

Therefore, I’m excited that later this month I am going to attend the 108th Canton Fair  a.k.a. “China Import and Export Fair” in Guangzhou.    I’ll be there during Phase 2 for the Consumer Goods, Gifts, and Home Decorations show.

The Canton Fair takes place twice annually; once in the fall and once in the spring.  The first fair was held in April of 1957 and it has become a major international event over the last 50 years.  With 11 million square feet and more than 55,000 booths, it is China’s largest trade fair.  I’ve heard it’s quite impressive, attracting more than 200,000 overseas buyers every year.  I’ll be sure to provide a trade show review after attending…..stay tuned!

If you are headed to the fair, I thought it might be helpful to list out a few resources that might help with travel to Guangzhou, etc.:

Hope to see you there!

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