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Search for new markets in third countries

The slight changes in the flow of goods within the EU, as well as the export and import situation of the EU described previously, show that all countries are looking to additional markets.

Many EU countries/distributors are focusing on third countries in the search for new customers and distribution channels. Accordingly, FloraHolland sees future sales opportunities primarily in Southeast Asia and North America in its corporate strategy for 2020. The United States and Canada currently (2014) make up approximately 10% and 2%, respectively, of EU exports – both with a decreasing tendency in the last 10 years.

But China has also been considered an interesting market for years. Currently, China is a destination country for approximately 4.8% of European exports. According to a Colombian study, cut-flower imports in China grew 61% from 2010 to 2014. This growth could continue in the long term because the country is currently undergoing great social changes. 15 million Chinese will move from poverty to the middle class and approach the west in their consuming behaviour. So China could – as the largest producer and exporter in Asia, especially for the Japanese market – predominantly import flowers, which represent exclusivity and luxury. Imported goods are a status symbol for the Chinese. The demand from weddings, hotels and restaurants could develop as a lucrative niche.

It cannot be said yet how the current economically tense situation in China will affect demand and the export of flowers and plants. In addition, despite China’s increasing imports, we cannot overlook the fact that production in China is strongly professionalised, and it remains an interesting question when the time will come that China will have its own sufficient production capabilities and will increasingly become an exporter outside Asia. In addition, according to AIPH South Korea is expanding its production in all areas. In 2014, production expansions of over 5% were seen in all sectors.

There are also sales margins in Europe
Is it right to solely concentrate on exports to third countries?

The potential for flower and plant sales in the EU does not seem to be exhausted, as the exemplary emerging consumer markets in Poland and the Baltic States show. With increasing economic development, the demand for flowers and plants also increases.

In this respect, it makes sense that the Central Horticultural Association (Zentralverband Gartenbau e.V) has called on the Federal Ministry to promote export measures not primarily for third countries, but also within the EU. The Association of the German Wholesale and Import Trade for Flowers (Verband des Deutschen Blumen- Groß- und Importhandels e.V) also made similar calls.

For 2015, Veiling Rhine-Maas also sees the key to success in the development of partnership relations with distributors and customers, and employs foreignlanguage customer service representatives, who are dealing successfully with the French-language market. Given their goal of attracting more international customers, including Eastern European customers, Veiling Rhine-Maas seems to see potential in the European market. A market presence in the target countries of the domestic market appears productive for sales.

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