China formally joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001. The U.S. Department of State notes, as part of this far-reaching trade liberalization agreement, China agreed to lower tariffs and [to] abolish market impediments. Chinese and foreign businessmen, for example, gained the right to import and export on their own, and to sell their products without going through a government middleman…China has made significant progress implementing its WTO commitments, but serious concerns remain, particularly in the realm of intellectual property rights protection.
Perhaps you're interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country's exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Chinese companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in China. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided in this section will lead you to information that can support your entry into this enormous market.
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Many online resources are available to help you understand this huge market and determine your most profitable role in it. The material DHL has collected here can help you to gather the information you need about topics ranging from government regulations and tariffs to Chinese business customs, etiquette, and styles of relationship-building.
The Federation of International Trade Associations, (FITA), whose members include more than 450,000 trade-related organizations, created this resource, which provides an introduction to the Chinese market. Use the links on this page to navigate to more information about the economy and political structure, business environment and rules for buying, selling and operating a business.
The Central People's Government maintains an English-language website that includes this section dedicated to business news. From this page, you can link to government announcements about such issues as market information, laws and regulations, foreign trade and investment.
This page provides detailed answers to 20 international trade-related questions, such as:
- What are the formalities for overseas investment to establish enterprises in China? What departments are involved?
- What are the changes in the new versions of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, and law on Chinese-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures?
- What are the rules for establishing foreign-funded commercial enterprises in China?
This page, created by the Ministry of Commerce, provides the full text of various Chinese laws regarding foreign trade, investment, Customs and other topics.
This report, prepared in 2006 by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, includes chapters about China's economy, foreign trade of commodities, foreign investment, intellectual property rights protection, settlement of disputes, working and living in China and other topics.
This short profile of the Chinese market was prepared by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Australian government's trade and investment development agency. It reviews China's economic climate and provides information and statistics about trade relations.
Austrade reviews Chinese business opportunities and etiquette. This page also offers information about such topics as tariffs; import restrictions; product certification, labeling and packaging; methods of quoting and payment; and various documentation and tax issues.
UK Trade & Investment, a division of the government of the United Kingdom, prepared this introductory information for companies interested in doing business in China.
Published by the U.S. Commercial Service, this report covers such topics as doing business in China; the political and economic environment; trade regulations, Customs and standards, and market research.
Understanding certain market-specific information, such as licensing, employment issues, getting credit, or starting a business or franchise, is critical in moving into new countries. These resources are designed to help you assess your potential for success in the Chinese market.
The World Bank's "Doing Business In" project compares business procedures and economic regulations in 181 countries throughout the world. This comprehensive report includes chapters about dealing with licenses, starting or closing a business, employing workers, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, and trading across borders in Argentina. Most World Bank materials are published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
This World Bank chart summarizes the procedures, schedule requirements and costs associated with setting up a business in China.
Using the building of a warehouse as an example, this page features a chart summarizing the procedures, time and costs associated to build in China. Text beneath the chart provides details about each step in the process.
The Economic and Commercial Counselor's Offices of the People's Republic of China maintains representatives in more than 150 countries throughout the world. This page is a directory of the individual pages for each country. Each page offers links to country-specific information about commercial news, bilateral visits, supply and demand and upcoming trade exhibitions.
Business success abroad depends not only on the quality of your products and services, but also on the knowledge and respect you show for the customs and manners of business people in your host country. These guides will help you to ensure that your business conduct in China makes a positive impression.