In many cases, while talking about imports from Asia, we tend to automatically focus on products sourced in China, which is in itself not a surprise, since the overall number of imported items from this country is very high (in the UK, imports from China reached GBP 49 billion). Nevertheless, the Asian continent is huge and we can therefore easily identify a variety of countries, each of them playing a substantial role as producer of a number of articles, as is e.g., the case of India.
It is important to take into account that, beyond the mere size and production capacity, China has been pushing its industry for exports for many years. In fact, thanks to this manufacturing volume, China has managed to become the world’s second largest economy, launching in 2016 its Made in China 2025 Plan, in order to prioritise the quality of its products, as compared to quantity, and to become a major reference in terms of design, not just mass manufacturing.
In the case of India, although it has been traditionally a fairly protectionist nation, in recent years international trade has reached 40% of its GDP and, little by little, the country has been opening up more and more to international transactions. At this point, the main products exported by India are refined petroleum (13.2%), diamonds (6.8%), medication (4.5%), jewellery (4.2%) and motor vehicles (2.2%), although we should not forget the sales of cotton, a raw material abundantly present in the country, of major relevance for the textile industry worldwide.
India’s major trading partners are the U.S., China, the U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Singapore. But, also in Europe, there is a growing trend to source products in this Asian country; as a matter of fact, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain are the countries that import most from this emerging market.
Without doubt, India is very much aware of its potential and, just like China did years ago, its government set up the Make in India Plan, with the objective to modernize the country and give an impulse to international trade. Among the many measures taken for the Plan, it is worthwhile highlighting the reduction in bureaucracy and the investment in infrastructure, in order to lower time and costs in transport in the coming years, a major step forward to successfully develop exports.
Countries in Southeast Asia: a great option for sourcing.
Regardless of the promising future in India and the excellent current situation in China in terms of exports, other Asian countries have been developing the last decades an important trade activity as well.
We make reference here, to be precise, to the countries situated in Southeast Asia, where the corresponding economies have grown spectacularly, thanks to industrial development. In fact, the abundance of labour and a substantial improvement in the available infrastructure has created the right context for many companies in the developed world to consider moving industrial activity to these areas, with the objective to reduce costs and gain competitiveness.
With these factors in mind, we can confirm that importing from Asia is no longer the same as manufacturing in China (or India). Depending on which products we wish to source for our business, certain other countries may offer us the best conditions for imports.
In S3 Group we have been working for over 18 years in imports from different places, like China, India and several Southeast Asian countries. As experts in sourcing, our job is to find the best supplier and the best conditions for our customers, with the objective that the import experience ends up being fully satisfactory, fulfilling the customer’s expectations.