China’s 240,000 pharmacy outlets are keen to see Australian products on display, say organisers of the Qingdao International Health Products Expo

The exhibition is expected to attract some 60,000 visitors including 7000 industry buyers.

These pharmacies serve more than 1.4 billion customers a year who increasingly are looking to their pharmacy as a “one-stop shop”.

President of the Complementary Health Product Association (Qingdao exhibition organising committee for Australia and New Zealand), Sunny Sun, says the ‘one stop shop” approach for pharmacies in China has gained a lot of momentum.

“This is giving pharmacies the opportunity to expand their product range and Australian manufacturers and suppliers can take advantage of this trend by displaying their products at the Expo,” Mr Sun says.

“The demand for Australian products is very high because of the strict regulations governing the manufacture of health products in Australia, and indeed other products which can be sold through Chinese pharmacies.

“Bringing a broad range of top quality products for visitors and buyers to examine at the Expo will open a lot of doors for Australian companies.”

He says Chinese pharmacy executives have already made several ‘raids’ on Australia to lock away suppliers, but are looking to the Qingdao International Health Products Expo, being held from 16th-19th March, to develop lasting trade links with Australian manufacturers.

“On top of health products there is strong demand for Australian breakfast cereals, chocolates and biscuits and these products align with the “one stop-shop concept,” he says.

Various model “one-stop shops” at an average size of 100 square metres will be highlighted at the expo featuring exhibitor from 10 countries and regions including China, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Japan, Korea, Germany, China Taiwan will be participating at the EXPO. It is expected to attract 60,000 visitors and some 7,000 buyers.

Victorian President of the Australian China Business Council, Ken Smith, says the Qingdao Expo, which he will be attending as leader of the Australian delegation, will be unique.

Mr Smith stresses that the development of the pharmacy in China, with the introduction of the “one-stop shop” concept, has opened the door to a wide range of Australian producers and manufacturers.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, says the Guild recently signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding with its Chinese counterpart and Australian presence at Qingdao will be a major investment in Australia’s health products export capacity.

“The Chinese want Australian products because they are produced and manufactured under extremely strict health regulations,” he says.

Sunny Sun says he expects a large number of exhibitors from Australia.

“China is reducing the red tape on importing packaged food products and as a result registration and approval, which was difficult, is now much more simple,” he says.

They are targeting a wide range of Australian and New Zealand healthcare products as they introduce “one stop shops” to their 1.5 billion customers.

And China’s pharmacies are not just looking at health care products, but at a wider range of food and grocery items, says Helen Sawczak, National CEO of the Australia China Business Council.

“They will be designed areas set aside for Australian products; health products and healthy products, breakfast cereals, biscuits, jams, wine, possibly fresh and tinned fruit, cleaning products, etc,” Ms Sawczak has said.

“These areas would be the same in each store so people know that the shops stock Australian products.

“Australian products including pharmaceuticals, complementary medicines, food and wine are in huge demand in China due to various factors including the rise of a wealthy middle class with an insatiable appetite for clean, green and safe premium products,” she says.

“Australian products are highly regarded as being of a consistently high standard.”

The Australian Pharmacy Guild, Canadian Pharmacy Association, industry representatives from USA, Britain and Japan as well as major pharmaceutical suppliers have been invited to exhibit along with numerous cosmetic, toiletries and medical, rehabilitation and aged care equipment companies.

The Expo will cover 10,000 square metres and is expected to attract 60,000 visitors, including 7000 industry buyers and professional visitors.

The Expo will feature various examples of “one stop shops”, with an average size of 100 square metres, for Chinese pharmacy owners to review.