COVID-19: An Opportunity For Pakistani Businesses To Grow Business in the Greater China Region

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ISLAMABAD: The Online discussion of Digital Marketing Essentials for Hong Kong and China was held today with participation from experts and business leaders from Pakistan, China Hong Kong and Singapore.
For the first time in Pakistan, one of the leading authorities in Digital Marketing delivered a talk on the “Digital Marketing Essentials in Hong Kong & China”. The lecture was arranged by Wusool, an enterprise focused on digital payments in general and E-Commerce payment gateways.
Matthew Kwan the Principal Consultant at Solomon Hong Kong made the presentation on the Digital Essentials for Hong Kong and China. He explained the difference in market approach between Hong Kong and China. He further elaborated that the tools to engage both the markets vary as well. However Pakistani Businesses have great opportunity to do business with their counterparts in the region.
Text Box: China, Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) is a milestone in the two countries’ bilateral economic cooperation, as the bilateral trade has jumped to US$18 billion in the recent years. Within the first phase of CPFTA, Pakistan’s exports to China have increased to US$1.85 billion (FY19) from US$575 million (FY07), and the bilateral trade volume has jumped from around US$4 billion to US$15.6 billion accordingly.
The CPFTA was signed in 2006 and came into effect in 2007. It is the first FTA China signed with South Asian countries.
Mathew identified five essentials for the digital market and divided them into; to be Found, to be Seen, know your Objective, Use the Right Channel and Digitally Ready Sales and Customer Service.
He emphasized the importance of making businesses digitally present and enabling customers to find their required business needs online, this requires a digital strategy at an individual as well as cluster level. He further said, “you must make yourself digitally present to explore the market”.
He said, “the digital market requires to define the objective of the digital strategy”. He further said, “you have to distinguish between sales, increasing your customer base or your product awareness. This should be planned in a manner that budget allocations should be done according to organizations’ strategic matrix, this will help in achieving special relationships with the relevant stakeholder for the required objective”.
Mohsin Iqbal, co-founder Wusool said, “Hong Kong provides an entry market to the Greater China Region particularly for Pakistani Food Products Manufacturers / Suppliers ranging from Fresh & Frozen Poultry, Meat to Fresh and Dried Fruits, Rice, Flour and Pink Sal. Similarly, it could be a good market for the quality Herbal products & surgical items from Pakistan”.
The participants discussed that the Chinese and Hong Kong markets can be challenging if you don’t plan your digital strategy to benefit from the online ecommerce platforms. It is important to have a digitally ready salesforce and customer service, so they can respond to customer needs and queries immediately, the more responsive you are the more market share you can capture.
Mathew said, the strategy for consumer and enterprise level businesses remains the same, the businesses must localize their businesses to explore Hong Kong and China, that includes language, and business licensing etc. however building partnership with local businesses can also help in expanding the horizons of businesses potential as well.
The digital landscape in China is diverse, consisting of platforms divided into Knowledge, Online Payments, Search, Social and Media.
On the issue of the language barrier, Mathew responded that building a multilingual customer service can be a huge advantage for businesses thinking of venturing into Hong Kong and the Chinese market. Keeping the interface in local language will also be a huge edge in the respective markets.
China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) appeared to be a milestone in the two countries’ bilateral economic cooperation, as their bilateral trade has jumped to US$18 billion in recent years. Within the first phase of CPFTA, Pakistan’s exports to China have increased to US$1.85 billion (FY19) from US$575 million (FY07), and the bilateral trade volume has jumped from around US$4 billion to US$15.6 billion accordingly.
Mathew Kwan is a seasoned speaker on the topics of Digital Marketing, Sales, E-marketing, Leadership and Management, Business Communications in Hong Kong and China. He has served for many years in multinational companies including Intel, JP Morgan and Jardine and has broad experience in sales & marketing and management in multicultural and international settings. Matthew is often being invited to speak and share his expertise in different occasions both in business.
The lecture was designed for the business leaders in Pakistan along with policy makers and academia. The talk was held online, hosted by Mohsin Iqbal, co-founder of Wusool.
The Online talk and the follow-up discussion also highlighted the key essentials and opportunities for Pakistani businesses, senior executives and management to explore new markets or to further make inroads into the greater China region for their Made in Pakistan products and services.

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