By Petros Mavros
Managing Director, Avantless Ltd., Online Marketing Consultants
The opening of new markets in both tourism and land development has always been the spearhead for Cypriot companies. With the Cypriot business acumen having been inherited by the Phoenicians, we have never stopped looking for new markets, as proved by the success of Cypriots in the Arab countries, Africa, and the Far East.
Times do change though. We are in the era of ultra high speed, both in trade and services. The Cypriot businessman must be ready to travel with the destinations being Beijing and Shanghai.
It is obvious that the Chinese dragon is ready to discover new markets and explore the potential relocation of Chinese citizens in countries where they can more easily operate in a freer market environment.
China, with a GDP of 7.3 trln dollars and a purchasing power of about 12 trln, is the fastest growing market with an annual economic growth rate of 10%. It is the second largest economy after the U.S. and by 2017 will overtake the U.S. as the number one in the G20.
However, this huge economy remains a puzzle as regards to where one starts and with whom, and who to trust. Then there’s the problem of which culture we should study in order to glean a small piece of this huge pie with 100 mln middle class citizens, 1.7 mln millionaires and 251 billionaires, all of whom are looking outside the window of the Chinese closed economy for new endeavors.
What can we sell to the Chinese? With correct political and financial management, Cyprus can become the new port of those new “adventurers” offering high quality services the Chinese investors are looking for.
Paphos so far, has benefited from the Chinese “inquietude” and albeit timidly, the land development companies have begun to recognise how important this market is. Recently, the Paphos Chamber of Commerce led an innovative presentation of the local real estate sector to the Chinese market. China Expo Online Ltd., (www.chinaexpoonline.com ) a Chinese company with Cypriot interests, offers the opportunity to Cypriot land developers to present their products in a permanent virtual exhibition in China without having to travel there.
China Expo Online is organising an online exhibition on “Cyprus Properties and Cyprus Investments” which gives a great opportunity to all local land development companies to present their products in a unique online environment which has both the look and feel of a conventional property show.
Behind this effort there is a “formidable” technical team which has created a technological breakthrough, and is accessible to even the most novice users of Internet and has been tested by the Chinese consumers so as to assure it is a user-friendly environment.
The innovation here is certainly not the creation of a website presenting the Cypriot real estate sector. Innovation is the creation of an interactive system of virtual exhibitions where the exhibitor and the visitor have the same interaction as if they were at a conventional expo. The whole process starting from the visit of the guest to the exhibitor’s stand, the exchange of contact details (business cards), the collection of brochures and other informative documents (photos, videos, etc.) is very similar to the process that takes place in a conventional exhibition hall.
On the other side now, the exhibitor is offered the opportunity to set up a booth just as if it were in a conventional exhibition. He chooses the photos, videos and brochures in the language of the visitor, etc. He is aware at all times of how many visitors approached his booth, who and how many visitors took brochures and even how long they stayed in the booth.
What would you say if I told you that you had the opportunity to take part as exhibitors in a Fair regarding real estate in China which will be open for the whole year of 2013, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the exhibitors will only be Cypriot companies, and no other similar exhibition will be organised in 2013 in China from any other country and the price is very affordable?
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