China’s business profile

Population 1.34 billion (2009), this is the largest in the world. Labour force of 812.70 million.

Main export commodities: Electrical machinery, apparel, textiles, iron, steel, optical and medical equipment. 7.5% of the UK imports originate from China.
Main import commodities: Electrical machinery, oil, minerals, metal ores, plastics and organic chemicals.

Economy: China’s economy has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Previously there was little trade with the outside world. Now China is the workshop of the world.

There are many business opportunities in China. With such a keen focus on international trade English is used widely in the business world.

China’s main ports: Dalian, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Xiamen.

China’s main airports: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen.

There are many government bodies that will help you to trade with China:

If you are exporting we suggest that you sell on an FOB (Free on Board) basis also if importing buy on a FOB basis. On export this helps turn around funds quicker as your responsibility ends once cargo is loaded onto ship or aeroplane, you have completed your contract and you are not responsible for any delays.

On imports buying FOB is again the preferred term of shipment. In this way you have control on your shipping costs fully as these will be agreed in the UK with a UK company. You also have control over the lead time of your goods. Cargo will arrive when you want it to arrive and not just when it suits your supplier to send out. You have authorise payment through your bank once cargo is despatched to ensure that you have required paperwork to receive, custom clear and take delivery of cargo.

Importing from China

  • Establish a relationship with new supplier.
  • Confirm terms of trade. Most popular are FOB or CIF.
  • Agree payment terms ie deposit balance on receipt of goods/documents
  • Approve samples.
  • Place an order with new supplier in writing. Confirming the exact order, trade terms and advise all documents you need.
  • Appoint your freight forwarder / custom broker.

Exporting to China

  • Establish a relationship with new buyer.
  • Confirm terms of trade. Most popular are FOB or CIF.
  • Agree payment terms for deposit; balance on receipt of goods/documents.
  • Have samples approved.
  • Receive an order with new buyer in writing. Confirming the exact order, trade terms and agree all documents you will provide.
  • Appoint your freight forwarder.