Japanese enterprises are looking to tap into new business opportunities at the ongoing third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai and optimistic about the prospects of the Chinese market after the pandemic is under control.
KAI Group, a Japanese company focusing on marketing of products such as cutlery, kitchen utensils and beauty care products, has brought its popular beauty care products including eyebrow razors to the CIIE.
"In the past three or four years, our sales in the Chinese market have been growing at an average annual rate of more than 30 percent," said Hiroaki Watanabe, general manager of Shanghai KAI Trade Co., Ltd.
"Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the sales volume of many of our products has increased rather than decreased, especially on e-commerce platforms."
He said KAI Group has participated in the expo for two consecutive years and they obviously felt the improvement of their brand recognition. The company has doubled its exhibition area this year.
"We are also warming up for the 'Double 11' online shopping spree," he said, adding that after taking part in the CIIE in 2019, the sales of their products increased by three times year on year during the shopping festival in the same year.
According to Hiroaki Watanabe, the company is trying to creat more personalized products of cutlery and kitchen utensils for the young group as part of efforts to find a new growth point in the Chinese market.
"We are confident that the Chinese market will continue to improve in the future," said Li Chaofan, manager of Commercial Department of Guangzhou Rinnai Co., Ltd., a joint venture invested by Japanese company Rinnai Corporation.
The company is participating in the expo for the third time.
"This year, we have brought new products such as wall-mounted stoves to meet the new demand for intellectualization and minimization in the Chinese market, and we believe they will be recognized by the Chinese customers," said Li.
Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings has also participated in three consecutive editions of the CIIE and expanded its exhibition area from nine square meters in 2018 to 81 square meters this year.
In the eyes of Xu Lei, head of sales planning department of Kirin (China) Investment Company Limited, the expansion of the exhibition area to some extent represents that Kirin gradually occupied more and more shares in the Chinese market.
At this year's expo, the Japanese brewery brought with "zero alcohol" beer-flavored carbonated drinks and autumn limited beers to win the hearts of Chinese customers.
Due to the pandemic outbreak, many Japanese food and agricultural products exhibitors were unable to come to China this year. However, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Shanghai still set up exhibition booths for its 46 Japanese enterprises.
The trade agency offered online docking service for the enterprises so as to facilitate them to directly negotiate business with customers at the expo site.
Forestlee Corp, a Japanese agricultural products company, saw the sales volume of its products in China increased by 30 percent after attending the first edition of CIIE. Currently, 90 percent of its products in the exhibition area can be purchased in the Chinese market, said Lyu Gang, sales manager of Forestlee's import and export agency in China.
"Forestlee has always attached great importance to the Chinese market, and we will continue to participate in future CIIE," said Lyu.