“Canton Fair Story” A Leading Company That Comes from the Canton Fair
At the beginning of the 21st century, Yan Lirong went to the Canton Fair located on Liuhua Road, from Qianjiang, Fujian Province for the first time. She went there neither as an exhibitor nor a buyer, but as a friend of an exhibitor. The purpose of her visiting the Canton Fair was, to put it in a high-end and groovy way, to “inspect the market and find new opportunities for the development of her company”, or to put it frankly, “to find a way out for her company”. Since establishing AAB Group in 2000 which specializes in producing female hygiene products, Yan Lirong has been engaged in domestic trade. Although AAB Group’s products win universal praise with high quality, the Group is often confronted with entangled “triangular debts”, including dealers’ charging exorbitant prices and difficulties in collecting payment. Hearing that the Canton Fair is devoted to opening a door to the international market for enterprises, Yan Lirong followed her friend and wanted to check if it is possible for her company to turn to foreign trade.
At the Canton Fair, Yan Lirong found that many exhibitors displayed similar products and embraced fruitful turnover. In her opinion as an insider of the industry, the quality of AAB Group’s products is not inferior to those of the exhibits. Therefore, Yan Lirong believed the Canton Fair was worth a try.
One Participation at the Canton Fair Laid the Foundation for Foreign Trade
In 2004, AAB Group got a standard booth of the Canton Fair for the first time, which gave Yan Lirong a “reassuring pill”, brought a strong impetus to AAB Group’s foreign trade and became a propeller for its future development.
At this booth, Yan Lirong met an unforgettable friend, a Bulgarian buyer.
“He looked over all the way, stopped at our booth, picked up a product and watched it carefully. That was an opportunity. The student interpreter I employed and I tried every means and used gestures to show the advantages of the product. Finally, he said, OK, that’s it. Please come with me to the hotel and take earnest money.” This story remained fresh in Yan Lirong’s memory. “He ordered 2 million CNY of goods, and I took 20,000 USD of earnest money from him without even writing him a receipt. I was wondering if it is counterfeit currency.”
Since then, the Bulgarian buyer has established a long-term relationship with AAB Group, and gradually added the order from original two containers per month to forty or fifty containers per month. While opening up the international market, Yan Lirong had a clearer understanding of the functions of the Canton Fair. “Why did he not even claim a receipt? The reason lies in the quality of our product, his perception my company and myself, and most importantly, his trust as a buyer in the Canton Fair.”
Since then, AAB Group has gained rapid development. Today, it has a number of company entities, which produce personal care products including baby diapers, pull-up pants, and women’s sanitary napkins. The products are exported to more than 50 countries like Europe, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa and Southeast Asia. Brands such as Mignon Baby, Satinique, AAB, and Coacom enjoy wide popularity and reputation at home and abroad.
Committed to Building Global Industry Solutions
15 years has passed, AAB Group has also changed a lot. At the 126th Canton Fair, its brand booths were very eye-catching, full of the sense of fashion and technology. What is even more eye-catching was its global industry solutions. This means that the Group has an unbreakable global influence in the industry.
“We established a global alliance three years ago to respond to increasingly fierce market competition and rising price of raw materials. Enterprises in the industry learn from each other, improve their product quality, and cooperate effectively to control the cost of products.” Yan Lirong said, “the effect is obvious, and enterprises in many countries are keen to join the alliance.”
The idea of transforming from pure export to output of overall solution was inspired by an Angolan buyer, who has almost monopolized Africa’s diaper market and earned a lot of money since beginning cooperation with AAB Group. Later, due to severe changes in trade environment, tariffs and other costs have increased, and local manufacturers turned began to seize local market. At one session of the Canton Fair, after learning about the difficulties faced by a customer, Yan Lirong suggested him build a local factory considering the price advantage of raw materials in Africa and the deficiencies of similar products in local market including cumbersome and poor water absorption. The entire plan for plant construction, including technology and standards was provided by AAB Group. This tailor-made gift really helped the buyer out of the woods. Until now, the implementation standards of local products are still based on AAB Group’s plan. Since then, AAB Group has conducted similar cooperation with buyers in high-end markets such as Europe, America, Japan, South Korea and South America, and has formed alliances with cutting-edge research institutes and institutions in the process of cooperation, thereby having obtained valuable experience in cutting-edge technology, international market operation and other aspects and laid the foundation for improving the industry’s global solutions.
A single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden. Since participating in the Canton Fair, AAB Group has grown stronger and gone global. Now it is committed to promoting the global development of the industry, which is awe-inspiring. An open China needs more such enterprises like AAB Group and more entrepreneurs like Yan Lirong.
Source: Canton Fair Press Center
Reporter: Feng Meikang