“Made in China” takes on a new meaning

With the change in China's economy and trade, Chinese companies are aligning themselves with global business partners, such as Maersk, who can provide services beyond normal logistics, so as to develop their brands on the global stage.

A construction site in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer/Scanpix

Changing with China

China is adapting a “new normal” with slower growth.
But this does not necessarily mean fewer opportunities. They are just changing and the new developments will hold plenty of opportunities for the Maersk Group due to the Group’s trusted name in China.

Within the next decade, the term “made in China” may have a new meaning. That is because China is adapting to a “new normal” with slower growth in global trade. The country, known as the world’s manufacturer, is progressing towards a new phase driven by domestic consumption, as indicated by the Beijing government.

Today, the Maersk Group is helping Chinese companies to go global and Chinese importers to capitalise on the growing domestic demand. According to Silvia Ding, Managing Director of Maersk Line’s South China Cluster, China is experiencing a fundamental restructuring of its economy. This means that Chinese companies are shifting their roles on the international market.

“China has aspired to going global in many ways,” Ding says. “It does not only want to be the world’s manufacturer. Besides producing branded goods for many of the big international retailers, it also wants to be known for its national brands. So in recent years, more Chinese companies are selling their goods on their own labels, setting up manufacturing units abroad and selling directly to the market.”

More than just providing transport
Where Maersk fits into the picture is by leveraging its expertise and wide global network and acting as a consultant to customers. According to Frederick Chan, Head of the Import Sales Team in North China, Maersk can partner with clients and assist them in streamlining their supply chain or manufacturing overseas, or on a broader scale, even help them to align their global strategies to ensure that both companies grow together in the long run.

“We are in this with the objective of forming a long-term business partnership over the coming years,” Chan says.

China is experiencing a fundamental restructuring of its economy.



Maersk in China since 1924
Maersk has served China’s foreign trade since the first Maersk vessel, Sally Mærsk, called at Shanghai in 1924. Since then, it has accommodated and supported the new demands of a changing society and trade ­patterns, most recently by helping Chinese companies going global and Chinese importers who are eyeing new opportunities as the domestic demand for food increases.

Maersk’s business activities in China include an extensive portfolio of wholly-owned and joint ventures within transport, logistics and port operations. ­Maersk’s investments in China comprise more than ten container terminals and more than 82 vessels and other ships, with a total value exceeding USD 3.5 billion. China is one of Maersk’s biggest markets.