Head­ing to Asia to pro­mote your F&B prod­ucts to po­ten­tial buy­ers? Nada Young shares ad­vice on how to get bet­ter re­sults from your next mar­ket visit.

Exporter - - CONTENTS -

Head­ing to Asia to sell your F&B prod­ucts? Nada Young shares ad­vice on how to get bet­ter re­sults.

With one of Asia’s big­gest food and bev­er­age ex­pos, HOFEX 2015, staged in Hong Kong from 6 to 9 May, many New Zealand ex­porters will have had a busy month of mar­ket vis­its to the re­gion.

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery­one in­volved in the in­ter­na­tional F&B trade in Asia at­tends HOFEX ev­ery two years. Amidst the teem­ing throngs, im­porters and ex­porters try to cram in meet­ings with their trade part­ners, rapidly work­ing through the list of peo­ple to see while ev­ery­one is un­der one roof. Im­porters from around Asia also at­tend HOFEX to scope out new prod­uct sourc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, and to gauge cur­rent mar­ket­place trends.

This face time be­tween in­ter­na­tional con­tacts is of­ten more sym­bolic than pro­duc­tive. It’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to have a se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion at a show like HOFEX. You must raise your voice to be heard above the din of the crowd while bal­anced on an un­com­fort­able stool in the midst of your trade part­ner’s busy expo booth.

To get more than a per­func­tory re­sult out of in­ter­na­tional travel and time away from home, craft­ing a sched­ule that also in­cludes meet­ings with trade part­ners away from the chaos of the show is a good start. Util­is­ing the in­ex­pen­sive and con­ve­nient flights within the re­gion to meet trade part­ners on their home turf is even more ef­fec­tive.

Plan­ning for multi-coun­try trips to Asia is a time con­sum­ing ex­er­cise. Sched­ule clashes, public hol­i­days and ma­jor mar­ket dis­rup­tions, such as the re­cent GST im­ple­men­ta­tion in Malaysia that has busi­nesses fran­tic or the tense na­tional elec­tions that gripped In­done­sia last year, add a layer of com­plex­ity not com­mon in the West­ern world.

A sen­si­ble sched­ule will al­low suf­fi­cient time in each mar­ket to con­duct busi­ness,

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