According to data unveiled by China’s State Statistics Bureau, domestic food consumption hit 696.5 billion RMB in the first half of 2019, representing an increase of 10.4% compared to 2018. China’s food sector is a mouthwatering prospect for international food enterprise and governments alike, however, its appeal is also offset by complex and shifting regulatory compliance obligations, exotic and rapidly evolving consumer preference and fierce competition. To discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of China’s food sector, REACH24H hosted its first Summer Gathering: Exploring Opportunities in China’s Food Sector in Shanghai on August 2nd, 2019.
The offline forum attracted over 40 officials from government, consulates and trade associations, sharing their insights and concerns on China’s food market.
Import and Export Food Safety Supervision System under the New Customs System
Mr. Yang Jiao, Director of Technical Barriers to Trade Research Center subordinate to GAC, explained new customs and quarantine reforms and their impact on market access for international stakeholders. He explained that in order to ensure the quality and safety of imported food in a more efficient manner, GAC broadly divides its administrative system into 3:
Ø Strict premarket administration
Ø Strict inspection and quarantine during import
Ø Strict post market supervision
The GAC official went on to explain that the weighting assigned to of each of these broad divisions varies depending on the risk of the consignment being imported, the geographical location from which the consignment originates, the track record of the importer etc. Management is then stratified based on assessment of these parameters and other criteria. Mr. Yang also outlined recent updates to China’s food regulatory framework and national standard system and how these changes impact throughout the supply chain and at all stages of a products/commodities lifecycle.
KOLs and Internet Influencers: The Power of Wanghong’s in China
During this part of the forum, Jim Wei founder of REACH24H and CEO of Daddylab shared his entrepreneurial experience and view on KOLs and internet influencers (dubbed Wanghong (网红). Jim used his own experience as a prominent internet celebrity in China to discuss the benefits and opportunities available to international stakeholders and offered some practical strategies to harness the rapidly expanding influence of Wanghong’s in China’s food sector.
China’s New Cross-border E-commerce Policy
Miss Kallen Chen, the BD manager of ChemLinked, provided an in-depth analysis of changes and developments in China’s cross-border e-commerce sector, offering an exposition of recent trade data, market trends, growth projections and emerging opportunities.
This gathering is the first event of its kind to include a gathering of various consulate officials from around the world, REACH24h key experts and high level Chinese government officials. As China continues to increase its global reach and attracts more foreign investment, open dialog between regulators, policymakers, industry and 3rd party firms is vital to ensure transparency with regards to market access, clarity on sector dynamics and practical advice on the best strategies and methods to exploit the massive opportunities in China’s food sector.