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John Jung CEO of CTT Inc.
John Jung CEO of CTT Inc.

CTT Travels Abroad to China

by John Jung, CEO, CTT Inc
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May 2010 marked the start of Canada's Technology Triangle's (CTT) travels to China with a business mission consisting of 15 business and academic delegates from the Waterloo Region. The visit involved business development, academic meetings and investment attraction meetings in Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu and Beijing. This mission was a starting point for those interested in better understanding the economic implications of doing business in China. This was a well used opportunity for local businesses to make contacts and create partnerships for two-way business opportunities. In addition, a large focus for CTT involved generating interest from businesses who want to develop long-term relationships for investment attraction and talent recruitment. The exploratory mission further opened our minds to the realization that being involved with China in the future is vital for overall international success. We heard many times over that involvement is going to be important to business success in years to come. It is important for us to have a "China Strategy" and one thing is for certain - the new reality is that China is certainly among the world's most compelling business opportunities.

It is important to recognize though, that traveling to and doing business in China is not as easy as buying a ticket and showing up. There are specific cultural (business and otherwise) pieces to know and understand in order for effective relationships to be built. For individuals that are willing to partake in this type of extensive process, and do make the trip and they must also then be willing to adjust their business strategies to match China's changing markets and unique government arrangements.

With China's growing population of over 1.3 billion, more and more companies are arriving daily with their business ideas and products. Representative of such a large consumers and entrepreneurs market, China is no doubt an ideal location to open up shop. Assuming on average that China could have over 350 million middleclass consumers today, this compares to the entire population of North America (and not all of our population is middle class). This new emerging group has serious influence on the ability to attract vast product options and generates increased demand among the Chinese to consume. Annual domestic retail sales in China have been listed to have increased by more than fifteen times since the 1990s to an estimated $1.6 trillion today.

A number of non-domestic firms moving into China have focused predominantly on the east coast. The Yangtze River Delta region around Shanghai, the Pearl River Delta region (from Hong Kong to Guangzhou), and the region around Beijing and its neighbor Tianjin are three of these main areas. The Go West Policy is also an important focus of the Central Government During our travels, we learned that companies are most likely to increase their advantage from these promising markets. In this region a number of cities have millions of patrons in addition to the talented knowledge workers such as in Chengdu and Chongqing where a large number of post secondary institutions are situated.

The value of such a trek as enormous for the educational and business sectors, and for CTT as we continue to focus on expanding our foreign direct investment and continue to build relationships that truly tell the story of Waterloo Region and how we are a growing player on the international stage.

http://www.techtriangle.com/thetriangle_june10_feature

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