China’s CEEC Investments in Eastern Europe

Inside the China CEEC Summit 2019

In the booming Chinese industry, the New Silk Road aka the Belt Road Initiative and the China CEEC – the 17+1 Cooperation – are particularly worth mentioning.

So, what does this mean for the global economy in general, and the European economy in particular. Plus, most importantly, how can your business benefit from the cooperation between China and Eastern Europe? The experts for marketing in China at China Gravy reveal all you must know!

What is China CEEC Cooperation?

To begin with, the 17+1 Cooperation, formerly also known as 16+1 cooperation describes the bilateral association between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE or CEEC). It enhances cooperation and holds many prospects of mutual benefits.

More specifically, it is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote business and investment relations between China and 17 countries of the China CEEC region. 

In fact, the China CEEC countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria*, Croatia*, Czech Republic*, Estonia*, Greece*, Hungary*, Latvia*, Lithuania*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland*, Romania*, Serbia, Slovakia* and Slovenia*. Countries marked with an asterisk (*) are members of the European Union.

The economic and geographical area is a section of the New Silk Road that follows two tracks:

  • a land arrival in Poland in the North
  • a maritime arrival in Greece in the South

So, what does that mean in practice? What is the focus of the China CEEC?

Mutual Benefit and Push

The opportunities for Chinese public firms particularly are in two sectors. In the infrastructure sector and in the financing by Chinese banks to build these infrastructure projects.

Inside the China CEEC Summit 2019

Besides, experts anticipate a hub effect through the investments of major telecommunications groups. Likewise, they expect traditional and declining industries like the steel industry in Serbia, and coal mines in Bosnia to boost.

By 2014, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic received the most Chinese investments. In numbers, Hungary received around 3.9 billion RMB (550 million USD). Secondly, Poland received around 2.3 billion RMB (330 million USD). And the Czech Republic received around 1.7 billion RMB (242 million USD).

China CEEC Summit 2019

This 8th 17+1 cooperation summit was held under the theme “Building New Bridges Through Openness, Innovation and Partnership”. China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang presided over the summit, which was held in April 2019 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It ended with a joint press conference.

The China CEEC cooperation meets annually and among other business opportunities promotes the projects under the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, the BRI aims to “provide promising opportunities for China and Europe. (…) Thus covering the sectors of infrastructure, transportation and logistics, trade and investment, and energy, among others.”

Projects under the BRI include the E763 Highway project in Serbia, the Budapest-Belgrade railway, and the China-Europe land-sea express line. In Croatia, an initiative to build the Peljesac bridge was led by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). 

Besides, in Poland, Chinese companies invested in the acquisitions of Huta Stalowa Wola, a civil engineering machinery company, as well as KFLT Bearings Poland, a producer of automotive bearings.

At the China CEEC Summit 2019, “upholding the multilateral trading system, expanding the trade volume, promoting the BRI, accelerating innovation and promoting cultural exchange“ were particularly emphasized by China’s Premier Li Keqiang.

China CEEC – An Economy Booster

According to China Customs’ statistics, China’s trade volume with the CEEC totaled more than 470 billion RMB (67 billion USD) in 2017. That’s an increase of almost 16% to 2016.

In fact, from 2012 to 2017 six new direct flight routes between China and CEEC have been opened. The number of Chinese tourists visiting CEEC increased from 280,000 to 930,000 (232%). Moreover, a China CEEC Coordination Center for Cultural Cooperation was opened in North Macedonia.

Inside the China CEEC Summit 2019

At the same time, the China CEEC training center for young artists and the China CEEC Cultural and Creative Industries Exchanges and Cooperation Center was opened in China’s South-Western city of Chengdu.

How You Can Benefit from this Booming Market

No matter, which resources, products, or services your business provides. You can benefit from China CEEC and China’s multi-trillion RMB investment.

1. Market Entry Strategy

First, create a thought-through China market entry strategy to launch into this unique and complex market. Set your goals, conduct an analysis, and review your findings. Then, choose a medium of entry, check your finances, and the legal parameters.

2. Chinese Business Website

Next, set up a professional and SEOptimized website for your company. This enables you to reach Chinese businesses and consumers directly.

However, make sure to adjust your SEO to Chinese search engines like Baidu and Sogou. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China. You may want to consider hiring a Chinese web design company. If you want to target Chinese businesses in the China CEEC you should consider Google SEM.

3. Domain Set Up

Then, launch your Chinese website up with a .cn domain to make your website load fast. You can host this website in Hong Kong or via CDN. Alternatively, you can host in China with an ICP license. Use Cloud Hosting for faster and more secure services.

4. Social Media Marketing

Next, combine Chinese and Western Social Media Marketing to maximize your target audience engagement. The most popular Chinese social media are WeChat, TikTok/Douyin, and Sina Weibo.

Besides WeChat advertising, influencer marketing is extremely popular in China (KOL, KOC, Wanghong).

5. Leverage Daigou

Now, take advantage of this specialized cross-border e-commerce industry in China. Daigou sellers work similarly to influencers. They sell high-value international products at a commission in their online shops through a huge network of followers and fans.

6. Localization

Finally, speak your clients’ language and address them culturally appropriate. Translating professional content from English to Chinese and vice versa is a bit more complex than Google Translate may suggest.

Doing business with the Chinese has its own rules and etiquette. So, a specialized China marketing agency can help you with this.

China CEEC – The Takeaway

To sum it up, the Chinese economy is booming and expanding to the whole world. In particular, the BRI Initiative is a showpiece to upgrade win-win cooperation, investment, and growth.

Likewise, the China CEEC Summit 2019 demonstrated a strengthening of political trust alongside rapidly growing trade and investment. Cooperation in the fields of education, tourism, and culture continues to deepen and the range of cooperation is expanding disproportionately.

Therefore, setting up a multilingual online presence can help you to lift this potential and reach the multi-trillion RMB Chinese market alongside tailor-made digital marketing strategies.

China Gravy provides customized marketing advice in China and smart solutions in English, Chinese, and German to skyrocket your business. Our international team of experts will help you to conquer the Chinese market through smart online marketing. Get your FREE consultation!

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