Which Countries is China Doing the Most Business With?

Which Countries is China Doing the Most Business With? main image

China’s role as a leader in the global economic space is well-established, with the country radically transforming since the economic reforms and ‘opening up’ policy of the late 1970s.

Since the reforms, China has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now considered one of the top countries for businesses wanting to expand and invest internationally.

However, if a foreign company makes plans to break into the Chinese market, it’s essential to know what’s happening in the market, and your entry strategies will need to be concise.

Why China?

China is the largest country in the world by population, so there is a fast-growing consumer market due to the increased number of middle-class consumers. By 2020, it will be the world’s largest luxury goods market.

China’s market is beginning to focus more on high-end consumer goods and services, as well as taking a particular interest in innovation. This means there are significant opportunities for companies across the globe looking to break into the market.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the Chinese government wants to rebalance the economy away from investment-led growth towards consumption.

Export power

According to the International Trade Centre’s statistics, China is the world’s largest exporter, trading US$2.5bn worth of goods in 2018, when global exports stood at US$19.3bn in the same year.

China has seen a steady increase in its export levels from US$2.1bn in 2016 and US$2.3bn in 2017, to US$2.5bn last year.

In the table below, you can see the top 10 countries China made exports to in 2018.

Top 10 Locations for Chinese Exports in 2018: Total – US$2.5bn

Rank

Location

Value (US$)

1

US

479.7m

2

Hong Kong, China

303m

3

Japan

147.2m

4

Republic of Korea

109m

5

Viet Nam

84m

6

Germany

77.9m

7

India

76.9m

8

Netherlands

73.1

9

UK

57m

10

Singapore

49.8m

It’s also important to understand which products are proving to be China’s most popular exports if your business hopes to strike up some sort of partnership with China in the future.

China is a leader in the field of international machinery trade. With this being realized, it’s obvious that China offers a strong competitive advantage within the machine-related category.

         Top 10 Products Exported From China in 2018: Total – US$2.8bn

Rank

Product

Exported value in 2019 (US$)

1

Electrical machinery and equipment; sound recorders and reproducers; television image, sound recorders, reproducers; parts and accessories

664.4m

2

Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts thereof

430m

3

Furniture; bedding, mattresses, mattress supports, cushions and similar stuffed furnishings

96.4m

4

Plastics and articles thereof

80.1m

5

Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock

75.1m

6

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted

73.5m

7

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted

71.4m

8

Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus parts

71.4m

9

Articles of iron or steel

65.6m

10

Organic chemicals

59.8m

Positives of doing business in China

Available skilled talent

Every year, more than six million students graduate from Chinese universities, with the highly educated workforce growing year on year.

Most grads are bilingual in Chinese and English, meaning graduates can be an asset to organizations in the east and west. The skilled employees can create, manufacture, and provide goods and services that can compete in global markets. What foreign companies have to consider is how to retain them.

Attractive market

China’s population exceeds 1.3bn people and also boasts a larger land mass than the US. This means China offers up a huge potential market for foreign goods and services.

Foreign companies of all shapes and sizes, including first-time entrants to the China market with no previous experience, as well as large Western multinational companies, find the market in China an attractive one.

The new China has evolved and is associated with the middle class more so than ever before. Although this in turn means higher costs for foreign businesses, the profit margins for said businesses are higher than anywhere else in the world.

Better Supportive Policies

The government in China has adjusted tariff policies on imported products which benefits foreign companies hoping to sell products within China’s market.

The Chinese government has also made changes to regulations, laws, and policy documents in accordance to the requests of the market economy which aims to create a fair, just and open market.

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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