"Many customers put a question mark behind China," observes Peter Zink, Business Development Manager Middle East, Greater China at a. hartrodt in Frankfurt. The difficult global supply situation at the beginning of 2020 during the Chinese Corona lockdown has led to a rethinking: "In the medium and long term, alternatives will become acceptable". Customers have activated old contacts in Europe for the supply. In addition, production had previously been partly relocated from China to other Asian countries. But Zink points out: "However, all this will not replace China".
IT, mobile telephony and mechanical engineering
"China remains an important production site and sales market," says Zink. This is especially true for information technology, mobile telephony and mechanical engineering. China continues to invest heavily in research and development. And according to Chinese customs figures, China's foreign trade is recovering continuously from the Corona crisis – Chinese exports to Germany, France and the Netherlands are developing positively. The Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (German Economic Institute, Cologne) sees China as the new number one of German export countries.
Supply chains shift within Asia
"Orders were already placed before Corona and are now made up for," reports Zink. Regarding imports from China there is currently a great demand for sea freight capacities, and the request for air freight is "still very high". As export volumes to China continue to be high, he recommends: "The earlier the customer contacts us, the better we can serve him". The same applies when supply chains are shifted within Asia. In such cases, a. hartrodt accompanies the customer from China to Myanmar, for example, where there is also an own national subsidiary. "The German importer will keep his permanent contact person," says Zink.
"China remains the locomotive of the global economy," emphasizes Zink. At the same time, a. hartrodt has expanded its sales activities for more and more local customers on the huge domestic market. Compared to the previous year, there is also an increased demand for ocean freight shipments from China to Australia and South America.