Trains running on the new railway linking Poland’s Lodz with China’s Chengdu that opened last year usually heads west loaded with products made in China but returns to China far less laden.
At present, for every US$100 worth of products Poland buys from China, the European emerging economy only manages to export US$10 worth of goods.
Poland is determined to change that, and here is where Hong Kong can play a role.
Copper and mechanical appliances topped its exports to China in 2014. To expand the list, Poland should consider agricultural and food products, which have a high potential, according to a Hong Kong Trade Development Council report.
Many Polish food companies have already looked to Hong Kong as a platform to promote their produce, as reflected in a sharp increase in the number of Polish participants in a recent HKTDC Food Expo.
“Hong Kong has been the gateway to the Chinese market for our food industry,” said Lucjan Zwolak, deputy president of Poland’s Agricultural Market Agency.
With Poland’s current food exports to the mainland amounting to less than US$80 million a year, there seems to be a huge room for expansion, given China’s rising income and demand for quality food from overseas.
A number of Polish government agencies are actively promoting the country’s products. Its translation bureau is said to be assisting Polish businesses to prepare promotional materials in Putonghua.
The newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is also expected to support the initiative through funding provision.
Hong Kong has a cluster of nimble, small and medium-sized distributors and traders. They can help Polish counterparts understand the preferences of Chinese consumers, the mainland way of conducting business and the different channels to penetrate the China market.
The report said Polish firms are on the lookout for investors and partners who can lead the way. There should be lots of opportunities up for grabs for Hong Kong firms.
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