Preparing for a business trip is always a challenge. But getting ready for a business trip to China is a special challenge.

For us at Exotrade, business travel is nothing new, but this experience was quite special. Employees and associates of Exotrade from Rijeka have temporarily relocated to the offices of Exotrade Shanghai in order to take part at the CIIE – China International Import Expo.

On the first day, we attended the Croatian-Chinese Business Forum on the premises of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, where the director of Exotrade Borna Cicero outlined our experience of opening a company in China. You can download the entire presentation from the following link: CIIE-Prezentacija(1)

It all started at the invitation from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, who issued us a letter of invitation, without which you cannot apply for a Chinese visa.

Apart from the visa for China, there are a few things that can greatly help your (business) life in China:

  • Do not assume that everyone is fluent in English and make sure you have all the bookings with you in Pinyin and Chinese.
  • WeChat app is almost everything in China. It’s one of the main means of payment, for ordering transportation, communicating with business partners and even to use it as marketing advertising tools
  • Google applications, as well as google ads, do not work in China
  • In the business world of China, there is a classic business dress code. It is desirable to dress up properly
  • Business partners you connect with should be contacted within three days of the first meeting
  • Don’t be surprised if a business partner asks you to communicate with WeChat instead of by mail, as is the practice in business collaborations in the West
  • Remember, the Chinese love negotiations so it is possible that your business negotiations will take much more time than planned
  • Last but not least, hang out with your Chinese partners because the foundation of good business success is to become friends. The Chinese have confidence in people they know well and companies that have a long tradition

At the CIIE fair in 2019, we established many contacts with both Chinese and Croatian businessmen, who gave us many business inquiries and ideas, the realization of which we are starting today.

Daring to come to China and present your business is courageous. We would like to thank everyone who supported us and joined us at the Expo.

We look forward to increasing the interest of Croatian companies to participate in the Chinese market, and we hope that everyone interested will find their place under the Chinese sun.

Prepared by: Maja Kardum


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