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English>>China Business

Revitalizing China's gloomy exports (4)

By Lan Xinzhen (Beijing Review)

08:15, September 26, 2012

Change for better

Shi found that many Chinese export-oriented enterprises are changing their dependence on European, U.S. and Japanese markets and tapping into the potential of markets in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Many emerging industrial countries are developing rapidly and their purchasing power is rising. Compared with products made in Europe and the United States, Chinese products, with better cost-performance value, are more suitable. Some high-end products made in China, such as automobiles, are finding it difficult to enter the European and U.S. markets but are suitable for consumers in emerging countries. China's bulk commodities, such as mobile phones, computers and other electronic products, are also very popular in developing countries for their high cost-performance ratio.

"Therefore we should not simply shift to expanding domestic consumption just because exports recede. Domestic demand is of course important, but we should pay due attention to external markets," Shi said.

Shi also believes that it isn't easy for domestic enterprises to simply shift from the international market to domestic consumption. Being used to the processing trade, export-oriented enterprises are highly dependent on foreign enterprises in product design, brand establishment and distribution networks. To transfer to the domestic market, these enterprises need to build up their own distribution networks and design their own products suitable to Chinese consumers, both of which are huge challenges. Hence, many enterprises would ultimately return to an export-oriented focus.

"Exports should still be maintained because we still have advantages," Shi said, adding that although the United States and European countries have hopes of reviving their manufacturing sectors, few enterprises are willing to do so.

China's exports still face plenty of uncertainty. Chinese enterprises should therefore be more pro-active in making strategic adjustments, said Shi. Export-oriented enterprises have three choices: shifting focus to the domestic market, building up their own brands, and directly transfering to other industries. Each enterprise should choose the most favorable path based on its own strengths.


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