Gifts Today magazine

China in the spotlight at Autumn Fair

Brands of China highlighted the best Chinese products to UK retailers

Designed to further promote Chinese brands and products, and to enhance Sino-UK trade and economic relations, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China officially opened its annual European Showcase for Brands of China at Autumn Fair this week.

With Chinese manufacturers playing an increasingly important role in the UK gifting and homeware market, this year’s Brands of China featured the most exhibitors in its 13-year history, presenting a plethora of innovative products. During Autumn Fair, which ran until yesterday, thousands of independent retailers and buyers from larger multiples passed through the showcase seeking out unique merchandise to stock in their stores in 2018.

The Brand of China showcase was officially opened by a number of high profile VIPs based in China and the UK, including Stewart Ferguson, Head of Research and Director Team West for the Chinese British Business Council, and Richard Hall, Head of Consumer & Luxury at the Department for International Trade. They highlighted how unique products from across China are helping UK retailers lower costs, while improving the quality of their offering.

Held annually since 2004, the 2017 edition of Brands of China has broken its own records in the following five aspects:

· This year’s Brands of China showcase occupied 5,400 square meters of floor space – the largest in its history.

· It included more booths than ever before, with exhibitors covering 300 booths in total – 50% more than in 2016.

· There was the largest number of exhibiting companies, with 280 selected Chinese brand enterprises from 16 provinces and cities showcasing themselves.

· The largest variety of products, with categories on display including household products, furniture, home textiles, accessories, decorations, handicrafts, lighting, home electronics and electrical appliances, collectables, souvenirs, personalised products, party products, children's toys and games, sporting products, Christmas gifts, stationery, packaging and paper products, fashion and accessories, leather products, clothing, shoes and hats, luggage, bags, clocks, home fragrance products, bathroom accessories, home and garden products, kitchen and dining products, ceramics, plastic ware and gifts etc. During Brands of China 2017, a large number of toy companies from Guangdong had their first debut in UK. Brands from Shanghai, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Gansu provinces and other municipalities, also showcased their latest products and newest designs.

· Those visiting the Brand of China showcase had a unique experience. A number of traditional Chinese cultural products represented by Madame Zhou – a Chinese intangible cultural heritage bearer and paper-cut art master, who was awarded the title of Chinese folk handicraft artist by UNESCO – displayed amazing art works and give demonstrations on site. Brands of China providing the visitors and buyers with an invaluable opportunity to discover innovative Chinese brands

As well as presenting the very best products, Brands of China also featured The How to Master the High Street Theatre. Educational talks provided visitors and buyers with the most up to date information and tips about sourcing products from China and internationally, as well as delivering the latest business advice.

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