CHINAcongress-hall-chongqingCongress Hall – Chongqing


The global economy has reached an inflection point, in which the structure that existed over the past decade is now shifting. For the last ten years, the engine of global economic growth was the U.S. consumer. China understood this and has grown to be an economic powerhouse, largely by supplying exports to the U.S. consumer market. That era is coming to an end.

CHINA - truckdepot

Commercial Truck Depot

Going forward, U. S. consumer spending will shrink, and Chinese export activity will likely lessen as the imbalance in the global theater corrects itself. Many authorities in the Economic and Financial fields are seeing this as a global economic crisis. That makes this an odd time to offer an optimistic prediction.


CHINAagricultural hydroponic view

Agricultural – hydroponic view

We are on the verge of a consumer-spending boom that will take place in China, which is likely to last for years. The industries that stand to benefit the most are ones that offer luxury goods and gourmet food products. If you look closely, this principle will work in favor of everyone in the buying and selling cycle.

CHINAagricultural view from moving car

Agricultural – view from moving car

What possesses me to think this way? In the past decade the Chinese economy has grown at an extremely rapid pace resulting in a huge increase in the middle class. This has triggered a series of events that will domino into a positive direction. Now China is in a position similar to Japan and Korea a couple of decades ago.

CHINAshanghai river view

Shanghai River view

China is catching up and in many ways surpassing many of the world’s richest countries by investing in new infrastructure, adopting modern technologies, and consequently rapidly increasing the productivity of its workers. By doing so, they are creating a situation where their middle class will not only grow in wealth, but they will also become more sophisticated. The natural consequence will be for them to demand higher quality goods at competitive prices.


CHINA - Shanghai Trade Office to promote trade with US

Shanghai Trade Office to promote trade with US

For those of you in California who offer quality food or luxury products and would like to get into China, the Cal Asian Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. They are an organization that successfully builds inroads and carefully puts together networking sessions that will put you in front of your potential customer.

CHINA - mayor speaks to california visitors

Mayor speaks to California visitors

I have been working with them for several months now, and the momentum we are generating speaks volumes about the gold rush style opportunity that is before us today. In May, I went on a Cal Asian Chamber organized trade mission to China. The group was primarily comprised of politicians, farmers, real estate agents, and a member of the wine industry. Our purpose was to visit trade offices, government agencies, trade shows, and create relationships for the purpose of increasing exports of California products.

CHINA - Margaret Wong and Tim Yamaguchi

Margaret Wong of McWong International and Tim Yamaguchi of Pride Industries

The area we covered was vast. It consisted of Shanghai, Nanjing, Kunshan, Chongqing, Suzhou and Beijing. Everywhere we went we were greeted with welcoming curiosity. In Chongqing we were invited to dine with leading city officials and treated to an amazing hot pot dinner and given red carpet hospitality. The experience left me with an impression that they knew what we were there to offer and were interested.

CHINA dinner shot

Chinese dinner for California guests at Mayor of Chongqing’s home comprised of each guest receiving a bowl of boiling water, half seasoned, half plain, with a plate of raw seafood and meats to cook at their own seat. It was delicious!! Beautifully prepared.


It’s important to realize that with every dose of optimism should accompany an equal dose of reality. Even though China is growing, they are still a relatively poor country, and the majority of them do not drive automobiles. Their methods of food distribution are evolving from a street vendor style to a hypermarket style.

CHINA - Mayor Huang Qifan of Chongqing

Mayor Huang Qifan of Chongqing

This means if you want to appeal to the Chinese market you need to create products that are light and easy to carry. The point is to appeal to a population that transports themselves by foot, public transportation methods and by bicycle. It will also be important to know how to relate to customers who are in the process of building a distribution system that can support Safeway style grocery stores.

CHINA - Mayor of Chongqing speaking

Mayor of Chongqing speaking

It’s also import to realize that China is very large, and has many cities and provinces that are separated by a great distance and difficult terrain. So it’s important that if you wish to get into China, target individual areas and appeal to those local markets.

This new era of the global economy has a silver lining, – a thick and profitable one, but only for those people in the United States willing to adapt and make the necessary investments to get their products into China via methods that meets their needs as consumers.

Arthur Walsh
Food and Beverage World