[Canton Fair Story]Yan Lirong: the Canton Fair Helps Enhance the Quality of Foreign Trade, Maintain Stability, and Upholds “Responsible Manufacturing”
“The Canton Fair allows companies to meet with customers from different countries and regions and brings them many development opportunities,” said Yan Lirong, General Manager of AAB Group at the 126th Canton Fair. The role of the Canton Fair has slowly changed. Now it is a platform for companies to maintain good relations with customers and develop new markets and clients.
The Canton Fair Strengthens the Confidence of Companies in “Going Global”
In 2004, Yan Lirong participated in the Canton Fair for the first time. Having just engaged in foreign trade, she rented a small booth. From establishing contacts with buyers to conducting repeated negotiation, although her English was not fluent, she finally received an order of more than 2 million CNY from a Bulgarian buyer. That order not only eased financial strains of the start-up caused by building a factory, buying land and investing in production lines, but also allowed Yan Lirong to discover business opportunities in the personal care industry. “That order gave me confidence in pushing into foreign trade. At the Canton Fair, I received many inquiries about products including diapers. If my company moved to the international market, we will embrace many opportunities.”
During the past ten plus years, Yan Lirong would come to the Canton Fair every year to conduct in-depth exchanges with buyers. From product structure, materials, packaging to cost accounting, she gradually deepened the understanding of the personal care industry, and led the company to receive orders from different countries and regions.
“The most intuitive change is that my English is getting better and better,” Yan Lirong laughed. Every time when she introduces professional knowledge about Chinese diapers and other products to customers and concludes a transaction, she would have a sense of achievement.
According to Yan Lirong, through communication with global customers, she can have a bettering understanding of the market and make better decisions. “‘He that travels far knows much.’ If you don’t visit other places, the theories will settle in your mind. But if you do, you will have a completely different vision.”
Enhance the Reputation and Competitiveness of Chinese Brands with “Responsible Manufacturing”
Yan Lirong believes that the Canton Fair provides an opportunity for companies to train personnel. Managers must lead employees to grow together with the company, let employees develop themselves, and enable employees create value for customers with what they have learned. “It’s like building a platform. The front end is the customer, the middle is the employee, the rear end is the enterprise, and the terminal is the material supplier. We should let everyone achieve a win-win result on this platform.”
AAB Group is engaged in the design, development, production and sales of personal care products. In the face of current overcapacity in the industry, how should companies conduct transformation and adjustment?
Yan Lirong proposed that companies should shift from single product manufacturing and sales to provision of one-stop integrated solutions. For example, it may export technology, talents, equipment, products, raw materials and other factors, and put forward one-stop solutions based on customer needs.
In recent years, AAB Group has established a global joint R&D center. It cooperates with large enterprises, colleges and universities to develop environmentally friendly materials. As said by Yan Lirong, in increasingly complicated foreign trade, companies must not ignore corporate social responsibility. It is necessary to enhance their reputation and industrial competitiveness with “responsible manufacturing”.
Sources: Canton Fair Press Center, xinhuanet.com
Reporters: Guan Jinheng, Dai Jingna