Bruges Conference: Get Ready for China

  • Date
    11 May 2023
  • Brussels Time
    16:15 - 19:00
  • Location
  • Venue
    Burg 3, 8000 Bruges Residence of the Governor of West Flanders
  • Open to
    All European SMEs
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Entering the Chinese market can be both a major opportunity and a difficult task for European SMEs. With its growing middle class and increasing consumer demand for quality products and services, China presents a significant potential for European SMEs looking to expand their customer base and increase their revenue by tapping into the market.

However, this can be a challenging market to navigate, particularly for SMEs who may not have the resources or experience to know the complex regulatory and cultural landscape. Regulatory barriers such as customs regulations, certification requirements, and licensing procedures can be time-consuming and costly. The language barriers, different business practices and consumer preferences can also make it difficult for European SMEs to establish and maintain solid relationships with Chinese partners and customers.

Despite these challenges, entering the Chinese market can be highly rewarding for European SMEs who are willing to invest the time, resources, and effort required to succeed. By understanding the market and working with local partners who have experience and knowledge of the business environment in China, European SMEs can position themselves for long-term success and growth.

On 11 May, the EU SME Centre, Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce, and Italy-China Council Foundation are inviting European SMEs to attend the conference “Get Ready for China” during which Business Advisor Alessio Petino will help participants to better understand the market and Flemish companies will share their experiences of doing business in China.

The conference will be held in English. This is a free event open to all small and medium-sized enterprises from European Union Member States and countries participating in the Single Market Programme.


16:15 – 16:30

Accreditation at the venue

16:30 – 16:45

Words of welcome
Davide Orlandi, EU SME Centre
Gwenn Sonck, Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce

16:45 – 17:15

How to Approach the Chinese Market: Peculiarities and Trends
Alessio Petino, EU SME Centre

17:15 – 17.45

Experience sharing by Flemish companies active in China

17:45 – 18.00

EU SME Centre presentation
Davide Orlandi, EU SME Centre

17:45 – 18:15

Q&A session and closing remarks

18:15 – 19:00

Networking cocktail at the venue

Keynote Speaker
Alessio Petino
Business Advisor, EU SME Centre

Alessio has worked for 8+ years on various EU-funded projects in China, mainly conducting policy and regulatory analysis for European companies looking to enter or already in the Chinese market. Key focus areas: market access regulations and barriers, investment attraction policies, standards & compliance – with particular focus on R&D, tech & innovation.

Alessio joined the EU SME Centre in October 2020. He coordinates reports, guidelines and technical assistance to European SMEs; he also delivers training about different market entry approaches and engagements with China, opportunities and risks, as well as do’s and don’ts.

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