Celebrating Chinese New Year
Thursday, January 26, 2017
While many Canadians are wrapping up their holiday season, our partners in China are preparing for their most important social and economic holiday, Chinese New Year.
A 15-day celebration marked by parades, social events and family gatherings, Chinese New Year features an important cultural feast, the Reunion Dinner. Preparations often begin days in advance, and include traditional menu items such as dumplings, steamed rice pudding and long noodles. You may be surprised to see another item served at the dinner table – Nova Scotia fish and seafood products.
Last fall, while in-market on trade missions, Nova Scotia Business Inc. had the opportunity to learn more about Chinese customs and traditions, the value of Nova Scotia’s exports, the opportunities that are available for Nova Scotia businesses and the approach that must be taken when considering doing business with China.
Through this experience, we gathered the following tips that can help the first-time or seasoned exporter navigate their way into the Chinese market.
Market research is key.
Understand how your product or service will be received in the Chinese market. Fortunately, for Nova Scotians, the Canadian brand is well-received, and has a good reputation in market.
You cannot rely on reputation alone.
To do business in China, you need to have a presence. Having a representative in market is pivotal to the establishment of your business. This representative should spend time building professional relationships, and taking part in the culture - like sharing local cuisine. As a country that values trust in business, this is critical to your partners, prospects and future clients.
Understand the Chinese legal system.
This is a key difference to doing business in China. You must register your intellectual property. China operates on a ‘first to file’ system, so if another business registers your trade names or trademarks before you do, they have the legal right to them. It is important to develop a business strategy prior to entering the market to protect your property, and prepare for any circumstance that may lead to implications in a Chinese courtroom. While China has modern regulations in place, enforcement can be an issue.
Building business in China is going to take time.
You can prepare by seeking advice upfront. This helps you plan and budget accordingly.
And you never know, China could come looking for you. E-commerce is becoming exceedingly popular in China due to a growing middle-class and expansion in the market.
The Nova Scotia–China Engagement Strategy is guiding our work toward enhancing our relationship with China and developing trade and investment partnerships.
We can help you prepare for the next step of your business journey with a variety of programs and services that provide:
- access to customized research
- programs to access support for cost-effective travel to market and market consultants
- export development education sessions and workshops
- trade missions – both inbound and outbound, and
- access to local and global advisors
Find a Regional Business Development Advisor near you.