THE dream of having Tasmanian products and services on display in a dedicated, custom-designed showroom in China is now a reality, thanks to the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In what some observers believe is the biggest and boldest project ever undertaken in the 190-year history of Australia’s chamber movement, the TCCI is partnering with an arm of the NSW Business Chamber to create the Shanghai Showroom.
This permanent display is located in Shanghai’s international zone, which attracts up to 8000 buyers a day looking for fresh products and services.
This is a cost-effective and professionally managed, long-term project to address a gap in the market and provide export assistance to selected participants.
Tasmanian businesses keen to break into China can register their interest with the TCCI, by calling 1300 559 122, or http://www.exportgrowth.com.au.
This will trigger a diagnostic process by a specialised team in Australia, exploring the DNA of business, products and their suitability for the Chinese market.
Successful businesses will then send samples to the International Trade Division team in the Shanghai Showcase trade centre.
Using intelligence gained on the ground in China, this team will provide real-time advice back to the Tasmanian client.
For example, they might recommend a redesign of labelling for the local market, changing the size of packaging, or tailoring ingredients for the specific market.
Even small changes could make the difference between success and failure in securing a buyer.
As well as pre-sale advice, all participants will be updated on the interest in their products from Chinese buyers for the length of their contract, which will be for an initial six months with the option to renew for a further six months.
But the connection doesn’t end there. If a product does generate interest from Chinese wholesalers,
the international team will work with the Tasmanian business to facilitate individual trade
agreements, so they can retail products throughout China.
The opportunity to display products in China should be snapped up as quickly as possible, according to TCCI CEO
“This is a unique and costeffective project to enable Tasmanian business to share in the opportunity of having their products and services highlighted in the Shanghai Showroom,’’ he said.
“This is not a retail store. It is a high-end facility in the Shanghai international zone, teeming with wholesale buyers, with the potential to connect with 1.3 billion clients and the rapidly increasing Chinese from middle class.
“The custom-designed showroom will initially have space to accommodate 120 Australian businesses, with 30 spots available for Tasmanian businesses.
“Tasmania has a potentially bigger allocation than other states, because it is now accepted that Tasmania has an affinity with Chinese consumers who are attracted to clean, green Tasmanian products.”
The economics of the package should be particularly appealing to Tasmanian exporters, who can sign up to the base package for approximately $6000, then seek assistance from a qualified dollar-for-dollar subsidy provided by the Tasmanian government.
Other subsidies may also be available through Austrade, which is also supporting this project, together with the Australian government and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
This should be compared with the cost of displaying product independently in Chinese trade shows, which often sits in the
$30,000 to $35,000 range, as well as being terribly time consuming and often frustrating, with sometimes little support on the ground and no follow up.