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October 17, 2018

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Colombian coffee chasing China

Wu Jiahang, chief representative of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation in China, is elaborately preparing coffee beans for the first ever China International Import Expo next month.

Wu said he is selecting coffee beans from diverse production bases in Colombia, which are expected to draw Chinese coffee consumers’ attention at the expo.

“From high-end products to ordinary consumption goods, coffee is a witness to the opening-up and reform of China,” Wu said, noting the coffee market in this still largely tea-drinking country has seen great changes over the past decades.

The Chinese coffee market has been growing rapidly over the past few years due to the rise of the Chinese middle class and better living standards.

Foreign coffee brands such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee have been opening a growing number of shops across the country, while independent coffee outlets have been set up in every corner of commercial districts in China’s cities.

“We are absolutely facing a prosperous and rapidly growing coffee market in China, and the CIIE will definitely be the best opportunity for ensuring that more Chinese coffee drinkers know about our coffee,” he said.

But Colombian coffee providers have their worries. They are concerned about the transportation of coffee beans by sea and are not entirely familiar with Chinese consumers’ preferences. They are also worried about whether their prices are competitive in comparison with coffee beans from other countries, or whether their products can arouse the interests of Chinese dealers.

“I always tell the Colombians to be braver, and to not question the openness of the Chinese market,” said Wu, adding that the key to winning the market is to focus on the acceptance of Chinese consumers.

He believes that international events provide a unique chance for exchanges between Chinese people and foreigners, because overseas goods are exposed to the nation.


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