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27/03/2018  l  Lucky Luke & China: faster than their shadows - Bart Horsten
When reading this title, you may have thought that we had started a publishing house, rest assured, we haven’t (at least not yet...). Not long ago, when I was sorting through my old comic book collection, I stumbled upon Lucky Luke – the famous free-spirited gunslinger created by Belgian cartoonist Morris. It may seem a bit far-fetched to some of you, but ‘the man who shoots faster than his shadow’ instantly reminded me of China: a country that is truly developing faster ...

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17/02/2018  l  Are the Chinese Creative?
As with many things in China, the answer to the question “are the Chinese creative?” will be answered in different ways, depending on who you ask.  When talking to western companies dealing with China, one can often hear complaints about the copying behaviour of Chinese companies and the lack of respect for intellectual properties. Additionally, many western business people criticise the lack of openness or initiative of their Chinese colleagues or subordinates. When presiding ...

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07/11/2017  l  The Perfect Business Model for China for Western SMEs
Defining the right business model for China is one of the biggest challenges for many European SMEs. Many SMEs on one side have the ambition to do business in and with China and do understand that it is important to be present in China to guarantee sufficient control, but on the other hand they lack the necessary knowledge and resources to manage the project successfully, especially in the first 2 to 3 years of the project. Most SMEs are not willing to set up a legal entity right away or recruit...

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09/10/2017  l  Doing Business in China is still the same as 30 years ago - Bart Horsten
“Doing business in China is the same as 30 years ago!” This is what my late father used to proclaim when starting a speech about doing business in China during the period 2000-2008. He described his experiences in China from 1979 onwards when he was first working on the China project for Janssen Pharmaceutical, followed by helping other Belgian and European SMEs into becoming successful in China through his consulting company Horsten International. Obviously this statement was a tec...

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04/09/2017  l  PREFACE Bart Horsten to Ed Sander's book CHINA TALK 4
The following text (in Dutch only) was written by Bart Horsten as a preface of China Talk 4, the new book published by Ed Sander. For a link to the free e-book or to order hard copies of the book, please click HERE. Voorwoord China Talk 4 China is een fascinerend land met vele facetten. Regelmatige China-reizigers blijven zich verbazen over de verrassende wendingen en de zo verschillende cultuur. Ook mensen die voor het eerst met China te maken hebben, voelen een grote nood om meer te beg...

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29/08/2017  l  Meet The Frustrated China Export Manager
During my daily encounters with China export managers of European companies I often see a lot of irritation – and  even frustration –  about their China project. I am not referring to the difficulty of doing business in China or the slow development of their project; I am talking about their frustration about the lack of understanding and involvement from the top management of their company. Many China export managers find it very difficult to convince their top management...

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06/06/2017  l  Market access barriers when exporting food products to China: PART 2
There are quite a few barriers and regulatory issues when importing food and beverages into China, such as import duties, sanitary restrictions, registrations and certifications, quality standards, packaging and labeling requirements, all of which can sometimes make it challenging for foreign food and beverage companies to fully exploit the market. Before you consider exporting your food products to China, it is advisable to explore whether or not there are any trade barriers for your products....

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08/05/2017  l  Opportunities in the Chinese Food Business: PART 1
With an annual GDP growth rate of around 7-8 % over the last few years, the increase of income and demand for quality of life, a growing number of Chinese consumers are joining the Chinese middle class. Due to many recent scandals in the food sector in China, Chinese consumers generally consider imported food products to be healthier and of better quality. As a result, the imported food product market has significantly developed in recent years, not only in quantity but also in quality. China&rs...

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24/04/2017  l  Cross-border e-commerce for European SMEs
As a foreign company, if you want to open your web shop on one of the domestic e-commerce platforms in China, such as Tmall, JD.com or any other domestic platform, you need to have your own subsidiary in Mainland China. Alternatively you can also work with a Chinese trade agent, distributor or any other Chinese partner with a legal entity in China. However, since Chinese trade agents are usually cautious to have unsold goods in their warehouse in China (the risk of not selling is on the legal en...

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22/03/2017  l  Is the Chinese Superpower a Threat or an Opportunity?
This blog post is an adaptation and translation of a column written by Bart Horsten for the Belgian economic newspaper De Tijd (4 March 2017). See the original article in Dutch here. European companies often hold misconceptions that they still possess a technological advantage over their Chinese counterparts and that China is eagerly awaiting their arrival. The contrary is true, China has an advantage in many sectors, for example in cleantech industries and internet technology. Afte...

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