Sunday, July 27, 2008

China sold on brands made in Australia

MADE In Australia brands are booming in China, reversing the long-time trend of Aussie shoppers buying Made In China products.

Australian fashion, wine, cosmetics and even computer software are all in hot demand in the booming Chinese economy.

More than 4000 Australian companies exported $2.6 billion worth of manufactured goods to China in 2007, up 10 per cent from the previous year.

Austrade's chief economist Tim Harcourt said the resources boom, Chinese students attending Australian educational institutions and a rapid increase in tourism numbers have "influenced the Chinese to develop a taste for all things Australian".

Ultraceuticals managing director Helen Brownie said the Sydney firm's cosmetics, sold through a Chinese distributor who has set up Australian concept stores called Ousia, have been embraced by Chinese women.

"Australia has a really good name and reputation as far as our therapeutic goods administration goes," Ms Brownie said.

"In China, they believe Australia is a very clean country, they see us as having beautiful fresh clean air and lots of green open spaces, and they trust our products."

Other Australian cosmetics brands being sold in China include Private Formula International, Shizen, Glamourflage, Nature's Care, Vitaman and Say It With Scent.

Australian retail food brand manager and franchisor Retail Food Group Limited recently announced it would soon open a Donut King store in Shanghai.

Foster's media manager Troy Hey said the Chinese market for fine wine, particularly Penfolds Grange, is growing. [What a disaster. At $500 a bottle, Grange is dear enough already! Adding Chinese demand will just increase that.]

"Generally as China's affluence grows quickly they're developing the same taste as affluent Westerners," Mr Hey said.

Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner in Shanghai Christopher Wright said Australians were known for giving everybody a fair go, and were open and co-operative when doing business in China.

"Our cultural predisposition makes us easy to do business with," he said.

"We don't have cultural or historic baggage in China."

Mr Wright said networking was very important in China, and Australians were very good at meeting and greeting.

"Business here is a very personal thing," he said.

"People here like to see who they're doing business with; they like to go to dinner with you."

During the Beijing Olympics, Austrade has set up Business Club Australia to establish links between Australian companies and Chinese partners.

Fashion industry brands doing well in China include Ksubi and Kirrily Johnston.,23599,24081903-38197,00.html

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