John Zane, Senior Director of Business Support Services at AmCham China, answers questions about the Chinese market.

Dear John: I am interested in exporting high-end leather fashion products to China. Can you give me an idea of what this entails and what the customs requirements will be?

A: You will certainly need to meet specific customs requirements when importing leather goods to China such as GB 20400-2006, which sets limits on harmful substances found in many leather products. Of further note, have you determined the demand for your products? Which competitors are involved? Which cities will you operate in? The fashion industry is very fragmented here in China. Finding a distributor who can determine the best distribution channel for your products will be a priority. Your marketing budget will also need to be carefully considered.

Dear John: We are interested in setting up a business in China to manage and provide consulting to Chinese developers in the senior care sector, but want to know more about the local industry.

A: The senior care service sector is of great importance to China in light of its future demographics. China’s central government encourages investment in this industry, although foreign participation is still restricted. For consulting service, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise is a practical business vehicle as it is relatively inexpensive and relatively easy to establish. You may, however, wish to establish a joint venture with a local developer. We would be glad to learn more about your business strategy in order to address these, and other, issues in more detail and eventually provide you with a list of member companies who specialize in this sector.