By holding more physical exhibitions around the world and through talks with exhibitors and visitors, we know that foreign capital still has a lot of confidence in the Chinese market, the China president of UK exhibition services giant Reed Exhibitions told Yicai Global.
“Reed held the China International Medical Equipment Fair in Shanghai in May and, at first, we were worried if there would be enough international exhibitors,” Zheng Zhisheng said. “But it turned out that the number of these industry giants and their scale of investment reflect their confidence in and expectations of the Chinese market.
General Electric sent a team of more than 50 people, indicating that China’s stable development is very attractive to international medical device manufacturers, he said. The expo attracted 220,000 attendees, including more than 8,700 international visitors from 122 countries and regions.
Since the beginning of the year, Zheng and his team have noticed that businesses from all over the world are eager to go global. The price of raw materials, labor costs and inflation are a challenge for all companies. For this reason, many foreign firms want to come to China in search of more opportunities, he added.
Although the marketing budget of overseas companies has shrunk in the post-pandemic era, they now have higher expectations when exhibiting in China, such as organizing more activities during the expo, connecting with local governments and chambers of commerce, and meeting with potential partners, so as to achieve their long-term goals, Zheng said.
Some large foreign firms that have long been rooted in China hope to find new opportunities at all levels as the country continues to open up, and they are willing to increase investment to continue to have success, Zheng said.
“Due to cost considerations, European and US exhibitors still prefer to attend expos in neighboring countries, so as to get faster results,” Zheng said. “However, they are still very focused on potential opportunities in the Chinese market.”
Chinese companies are also very keen to go global, and geopolitical factors do not seem to be bothering them, Zheng said. Chinese firms doing business in the US still have a lot of enthusiasm and commitment.
“Everyone understands that market opportunities have to be fought for,” said Zheng. “If you stop when you see a mountain ahead, you will never find a way forward.”
"In the American markets, such as Brazil and Mexico, Chinese companies are also expanding their footprint,” he said. “Their participation in exhibitions in Europe, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia has returned to the pre-pandemic levels.”
The Chinese government should create a better business environment for foreign exhibitors, such as by adding more international flights and by making it easier to apply for visas. This will help to encourage the return of international exhibitors and visitors, Zheng said.