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“Made-in-Wenzhou” Products Unveiled in Leading International Procurement Center in Europe
             Author:    Source:    PublishTime:05-19-2016     Hits:5518


Products made in Wenzhou are now available in ITEC Euro Center (the ITEC International Procurement Center in Europe) at the main traffic thoroughfare of Europe in Metz France, covering an area of more than 3 million square meters.

As one of Europe’s biggest international procurement centers, ITEC has been regarded by many Chinese foreign trade enterprises as a springboard for fast entry into the European market and the direct access to end customers as well as a booster for the establishment of their independently owned international brands and the development of multinational enterprises. From the end of November to early December in 2015, samples of products made by 10 companies in Wenzhou had been showcased one after another in the center, marking a major step forward in the city’s  restructuring and development of cross-border trade.

Most competitive products of 10 Wenzhou enterprises unveiled in ITEC

A seemingly endless stream of small and medium-sized buyers across Europe are looking for their favorite products in ITEC where merchandises from around the world are displayed.

Covering an area of 3 million square meters, ITEC is developed by Terra Lorraine Development Co., a company wholly owned by the French Comex International Holdings. ITEC is a flagship commercial complex for commercial trade, e-commerce, logistics, warehousing and integrated services. each company is assigned a standard booth of 9 square meters in its exhibition center, which is divided into section with different themes by product category. Without too many restrictions on booth layout, enterprises can showcase their product features and styles freely.

 “Our stationery products were put on the shelves the end of last November in the Stationery Section, a booth located at a main passageway leading to two directions.” Xiang Yili, the general manager of Wenzhou Topteam International Trade Co., explained to reporters while pointing to the booth scene photographs. To her pleasant surprise, it was found the company is the first Wenzhou enterprise to display products in the center.

At the Lamp Section of the center, LED tube series, LED down lamp series, LED flat lamp series, LED flood lamp series, and high-pole lamp series made by Zhejiang Huatai Electronics Co., have also been on the shelves. In addition, products of eight companies in the eye wear, metal building materials, auto parts, lighting, stationery, gifts and other industries will also be gradually displayed.

Innovative mode turns manufacturers into suppliers

Last May, Comex Holdings brought up the ITEC program to Wenzhou enterprises in a promotional event held in Wenzhou. According to Gong Renguang, Comex’s Business Director of Zhejiang Region, ITEC is a platform for European small and medium-sized buyers to procure Chinese goods directly. ITEC has set up a large-volume exhibition center at the crossroads of Europe and an online shopping website designed in line with the shopping habits of Europeans.

 “This is an innovative way of cultivating the European market, as it directly accesses to micro, small and medium-sized buyers in Europe.” said Zhu Yiming, the general manager of Zhejiang Huatai Electronics Co., Ltd. As he has lived for 20 years in Europe, he understands well that more than 90% of European buyers are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Previously, the company was mainly engaged in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with major brands or manufacturers. Now, the company can directly contact with small and medium-sized local buyers in Europe, therefore, the company can realize the transition from an OEM manufacturer to a product supplier to get more initiative in market competition.

Using O2O sales model designed in European thinking framework in terms of the arrangement of the physical exhibition center and the online mall design is another reason why many Wenzhou companies have chosen ITEC. “Their display platform and sales channels are done by Europeans. They are more in line with the spending habits of Europeans. We can get orders from small and medium-sized buyers as long as we adjust production and delivery methods according to their requirements.” said a head of a Wenzhou company manufacturing hardware and building materials.

  Its very privileged location is another important reason for many Wenzhou companies to value the ITEC project. According to Gong Renguang, the physical exhibition center of ITEC is located at the junction of France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg. About 100 million high-income potential customers are within 400 km range from the center. Surrounded by excellent highways, waterways and air transport network, the center reaches out to the core area of Europe. “European buyers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are used to buy and inspect the purchased products within one day. Therefore, ITEC of ‘One-day Economy’  provides them with such a convenience.” Gong Renguang said.

Establishing a beachhead for the internationalization of brands for Wenzhou’s foreign trade enterprises

From OEM and ODM manufacturing to establishing their own brands, a growing number of foreign trade-oriented enterprises in Wenzhou are trying to change from OEM manufacturers of foreign brands to go global with their own brands by developing highly competitive products, as our reporter have found. The ITEC may be a booster contributing to the rapid rise of their brands in overseas markets.

 “The threshold for manufacturers displaying products in ITEC is very high. You need to comply with the SGS EU standards.” said Xiang Yili. SGS is the world’s leading third-party verification and certification body. SGS will inspect your factory in terms of authenticity and legality, trade capacity, production capacity, quality control, management system certificates, etc. In addition, you will be required to fine-tune products and optimize online products, such as product image processing, product parameters template modifications, product description refining and so on.

 “If you have not already taken the step of brand development, I am afraid it is difficult to meet their requirements.” said Shao Jian, the chairman of Wenzhou Topteam International Trade Co. His company has been building self-owned brand TOP TEAM since two years ago. Besides, Europe has been as a major export market for the company. As a result, the company has a fairly good understanding of European customers’ shopping habits. ITEC is more suitable for those enterprises having already taken or decided to take the transition road of brand development as the beachhead for the internationalization of their brands in overseas market.

By supplying own-brand products to small and medium-sized buyers, manufacturers can get away with the intermediaries and cut down prices while ensuring product quality. However, Zhu Yiming does not believe that price competitive advantage is the best way for the sustainable development of the brand. Instead, product is more important in market competition. His company’s five lamp series of their own brand COLONBO displayed in ITEC have been awarded a number of patents internationally. The energy saving lamps are featured with luminous efficiency being increased by 20%, faster heat dissipation and large lighting angle of 330 degrees without dark areas to help protect eyesight. Besides, their prices are more competitive than similar products in the world.

Aiming to build multinationals

 “ITEC may be referred to a new model of cross-border E-commerce.” said Huang Jian, Vice President and the Secretary-General of Wenzhou Chamber of International Commerce, and the director of the Liaison and Cooperation Department of CCPIT Wenzhou Office. According to Huang, Wenzhou enterprises can manage to sell products all over the world through ITEC’s physical product experience center in the core area of Europe, its online E-commerce trading platform, regular exchange of exhibitions, integrated logistics management and the promotion by mainstream search engines and social networking sites for Europeans.

Huang Jian also revealed that most Wenzhou enterprises working with ITEC would like to launch and build their own brands and create multinationals after attracting and consolidating a group of loyal foreign customers and business connections. “They are trying to make foreigners feel doing business with someone like one of their own”. added Huang.

The idea was confirmed by interviewed companies: “The first batch of safety stock has been sent to France. If the sales are good, we will apply for registration of a local company in no time.” said Xiang Yili. The development of brand requires the direct contact with micro, small and medium-sized buyers to establish the customer base as a must to become a “local enterprise”.

Zhu Yiming also told reporters that overseas companies will be registered in 2016. In addition to business presence in Europe, the company will vigorously develop the Southeast Asia market and other emerging markets.

  Besides the 10 companies that have already signed cooperation agreements with ITEC,  a large number of companies with intentions of cooperation will pay a study visit to ITEC this April according to the Wenzhou Chamber of International Commerce and CCPIT Wenzhou Office. It is believed that a lot of multinational trading companies owned by Wenzhouese business people will emerge in the European markets.

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