The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) signed in November 2014 is only one of the many factors that makes China the place to do business with for Australian businesses in 2015.
Unprecedented opportunities in China are due not only to the removal of tariffs on Australian exports and imports but also from China’s growing economy and hunger for western products.
The world’s single largest population at 1.3 Billion people
The world’s second largest economy with disposable income
The Chinese government aims to double household income by 2020.
Australia’s reputation for high quality manufacturing, our niche and ‘exotic’ products as well as the drop in the Australian dollar all continue to drive demand in China. This is exemplified within China’s thriving middle class who are mobile, social and prestige-hungry.
Due to culture, distance and language barriers, as well as uncertainty around how to penetrate the ‘Chinese Firewall’ the Chinese market is perceived to be a tough market to crack. However, Australian businesses that do enter the China market are faced with endless opportunities and for those that do it right – returns like nothing you’ve ever imagined.
Filling the gap with Australian products
There are opportunities for many products in the Chinese market. To be successful, you may need to look at your product differently and consider if you have one of three things:
- Quality/Prestige: Does your product offer a higher quality of taste, freshness or production that will be seen as prestige?
- Enviability: Do you have a ‘visual’ product that with the right marketing, everyone will want one? Think celebrity endorsement or going viral on social media – can you see it happening?
- Cultural benefits: Chinese consumers are big on health, beauty, appearance and success. Can your product be matched to a new cultural benefit? For example in Australia we see drinking wine as a norm, as just a beverage. In China, wine needs to be marketed as a health benefit or as a prestige appearance for the drinker.
Due to high levels of pollution and low-quality standards in the local market, consumers with more disposable income are willing to seek imported, high quality and niche products, particularly from food and beverage, beauty and environmentally-friendly, green manufacturing industries. Education as an import market is also booming.
Food and beverages saw a 15% annual growth rate in last 5 years.
- China is the second fastest growing economy in the F&B market in Asia. With population over 1.3 billion, internal demand for food and beverage has increased at a growth rate of 30% in the past five years and 15% for F&B imports. Higher quality living standards have increased the consumer’s expectations for choice, quality, freshness, innovation and convenience.
- Australia’s reputation as a source of clean and environment-friendly products, with good quality brands, has made it very attractive to the Chinese consumers when it comes to food. Many Australian brands are taking advantage of this positioning to sell meat, dairy, fruit, seafood and cereals, amongst others.
45% increase of Australian Wine imports in 2014.
- Alcoholic beverages are still in the immature phase in the Chinese market. They are not traditional to the culture but are starting to see a huge uptake because of health-focussed or prestige-focussed marketing.
- Sparkling, white and sweet wines are being the most popular amongst younger middle-class consumers, particularly women. The market is ripe for new brands and innovations in the beverage industry, with Chinese consumers always looking for the latest and newest, especially with luxury brands.
PERSONAL CARE AND COSMETICS
Retail sales of skincare and makeup products in China achieved 9.1% and 7.3% growth year-on-year in 2013 respectively.
- Australia’s reputation as a supplier of quality goods and enforcer of strict quality control and health protocols make health, beauty and baby products appealing to the Chinese market.
- Products in this industry that are popular amongst Chinese consumers are baby and child related skin care, men’s grooming and cosmetics.
In 2014, 25% of international students in Australia were from China.
- China is the largest contributor to the international student population in Australia. This is not expected to change now that the Free Trade Agreement has been signed.
- As part of the agreement, the Ministry of Education of China will list all Australian private higher education institutions registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), giving exposure to Australian institutions to potential Chinese students through a trusted source.
- Chinese parents are willing to send their children to study overseas, even if that means higher tuition fees. The prospects of better job opportunities upon return or the possibility of living overseas is attractive enough for both high school and university students to seek education in Australia.
- As the economy matures and the middle class strengthens, the opportunities for educational institutions is expected to continue to grow.
Seizing the opportunity
If you are thinking of marketing your products in China, check out Medianet’s International services to help you get through the firewall and promote your PR or marketing efforts on Chinese websites, blogs and social media hubs.
One of our Account Managers can help you understand the unique media landscape to maximise your opportunities. With reach to the most influential media in China and localised translation of your press release, Medianet International is an affordable and specialised solution to businesses all sizes wanting to reach the Chinese consumers.
It’s not as costly as you may think – find out more.
Many companies look at reaching overseas markets when sending their press releases in order to expand their influence and success beyond their home borders. Distributing your press release globally can be valuable for any company, not just for multinational brands – and should be something that all companies explore in their PR strategies.