China is the world’s largest producer, importer, and consumer of fresh fruits. Rapid economic growth in recent decades has led to significant improvements in domestic fruit production, while average annual urban wages in China have risen dramatically from just over $4,500 in 2009 to more than $11,600 in 2018. These changes are fuelling an ever-rising consumer demand for higher quality and greater varieties of fruits. In response, the Chinese government has been expanding trade relationships with fruit producing countries, and continuously adding to its list of fresh fruits permissible for import. As a result, over the past decade, the value of China’s fresh fruit imports has soared from under $1.2 billion in 2009 to over $6.9 billion in 2018, with more than 200 fruits from 24 countries permissible for import in 2019.

GIZ SRECA commissioned MZ Marketing Communications to conduct the “Tropical Fresh Fruit Exporter’s Guide to China” to support GIZ SRECA project partners in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam, to enhance information sharing on market access to China among local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as support ongoing public-private dialogue on a regional level.

The report examines the competitive market conditions in China for eight fruits, with a focus on trade between China and the three ASEAN member countries. Specific fruits considered include banana, mango, watermelon, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, durian, and jackfruit. To illuminate challenges and opportunities for these fruits and countries, market research was conducted from the period of September through December 2019. Field research activities included interviews with more than 20 traders and industry experts, as well as visits to wholesale markets, logistics-centres, and border ports through which the largest volumes of tropical fruits are traded. Desk research included review and analyses of existing research, media reports, and official trade statistics.

GIZ SRECA will utilise the report for further capacity building measures like trainings and workshops with public and private sector partners in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. It is also envisaged to translate the guide into the respective local languages for further dissemination among SMEs.