Business Opportunities in China

China has one of the largest economies in the world. In addition, it is also one of the world’s largest countries, which makes China attractive to foreign investors. Do you want to know where the opportunities lie for you? We are happy to help you on your way.

Because the regions in China are very different from each other, the markets also differ greatly per region. This means that the business opportunities can be different everywhere in China and that successful business depends very much on the region in which you do business.

China Maritime

Promising Sectors

Maritime sector

The maritime sector in Shandong province is one of the best in China. The ports in Shandong offer Dutch companies many opportunities, including:

  • making ports more sustainable;
  • improving service in the ports;
  • improving or replacing polluting infrastructure;
  • offering services and products in the field of ‘green’ shipbuilding;
  • designing and building LNG carriers, lifeboats, yachts and cruise ships;
  • providing technology in the field of offshore equipment, sensors and control systems;
  • providing new technology, products and training in aquaculture.

In the report below you can read more about the opportunities in the maritime sector in Hainan.

Agriculture and horticulture

There are many business opportunities in agriculture, also known as the agri-food sector. For example, various Chinese cities and provinces are investing in building agroparks around the major cities. In addition, investments are being made to modernize existing horticultural greenhouses into greenhouses that produce more.

Dutch Horticulture in China portal

The Dutch Horticulture portal was launched in China during the Floriade. This portal provides knowledge and information about the horticultural chain, which is necessary and useful for companies doing business in China. The Dutch Horticulture in China portal is an initiative of us together with the Province of South Holland, IQ and Greenport NL.

Impact corona

The impact of the corona crisis on the export of agricultural products to China is significant. Think of the export of floriculture, food processing or agricultural expertise. Do you have questions about your export of agricultural products to China? Please contact our agricultural council in China. Also keep an eye on the website Agromessages abroad.

Market report ‘Green cities in China’

In addition, the horticultural sector offers opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs. You can read more about this in the market report ‘Green Cities in China’. This report maps out some important themes in Chinese cities. You will gain insight into how Dutch companies can respond to current and future opportunities. Would you like to receive the report?

Cattle breeding

Are you interested in innovative, sustainable and animal-friendly pig farming? And do you want to be part of a consortium? Then view the Sustainable pig farming program of NL Works.

China Cattle Breeding

Also listen to BNR Business Doing’s item about green cities in China. Our Director of International Programs, Tjerk Opmeer, discusses the opportunities for entrepreneurs in this sector. You can listen to the episode on our YouTube channel.



Hydrogen energy has been given high priority on the Chinese government’s agenda in view of industrial development. According to the forecast of China Hydrogen Energy Alliance, the market demand for hydrogen in China will reach 35 million tons by 2030. By the year 2050, hydrogen will account for more than 10% of the country’s total energy supply. This offers opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs in the hydrogen sector.A

Market report opportunities in the hydrogen sector

In our recent report ‘Hydrogen Opportunity Report’ you will get an overview of the Chinese hydrogen sector, the opportunities that lie here, and how you can respond to them.

High-tech industry and ICT

There are many opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs in the Chinese high-tech sector. Especially for companies involved in nanotechnology and materials technology.

The Chinese central government has long been very interested in the ICT sector. Efforts are being made to stimulate this industry by making major investments and attracting foreign knowledge. As a result, there are also many opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs in this sector.


Cold chain logistics

China Logistics

Cold chain logistics, also known as cold chain logistics, is a market that is developing strongly in China. This is mainly due to growing urbanization, more awareness among the fast-growing middle class and a strong focus on food safety. The Chinese refrigeration market was worth ¥295.6 billion (€38.5 billion) in 2018. This is an increase of 18.8% compared to a year earlier. The market is expected to continue to grow to ¥522.5 billion (€68 billion) by 2025.

Chinese consumers have a great need for high-quality food. The sector wants to meet the high demands and expectations of consumers, but the current infrastructure and technology in China are still lagging behind. This is due to important problems in the cold chain, such as:

  • low technology level;
  • lack of sufficient cold storage (cold store) and refrigerated trucks;
  • shortage of trained personnel.

As a result, there are many opportunities for Dutch companies in this sector.

Market Report Mobility

Mobility is an important theme in the Chinese market. The Netherlands has been investing heavily in this for years and Dutch companies have already discovered China well. However, there are many more opportunities in the Chinese market. That is why NBSO Nanjing has had the market situation, opportunities and challenges mapped out in a report. Some themes are:

  • ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems)
  • Autonomous Driving
  • MaaS (Mobility as a Service)
  • Electric Power Trains
  • Design & Materials
  • Industrial Engineering

Life Sciences & Health

The Life Sciences & Health sector is one of the most important areas in which the Netherlands can and wants to collaborate more with partners in China. There are numerous opportunities in Chinese healthcare for Dutch companies.

Roadmap regulations for medical products

Knowledge and understanding of Chinese regulations for medical products has been a challenge for many Dutch companies in the Life, Science and Health sector, especially SMEs. To help Dutch entrepreneurs in the LSH sector tap into the Chinese market, the VWS-LSH team at the Dutch Embassy in Beijing in 2022 has drawn up a roadmap. In this document we provide an overview of the Chinese regulations regarding medical devices. The main content of this document is based on the valuable contribution of several external experts with practical expertise in the Chinese market.

LSH in Guandong province

Guangdong is one of the most important provinces for LSH in China and an ideal springboard to enter the Chinese market. The public-private ecosystem resembles that in the Netherlands in several ways. Despite some challenges, there are several business cooperation opportunities between the Dutch LSH sector and the LSH sector in Guangdong. Think of export, local distribution and setting up a local branch. You can read more about the opportunities and challenges in the market report, prepared by the Consulate General in Guandong.


Since 2016, the Chinese government has been investing in boosting the e-commerce sector. The e-commerce market has since flourished. This offers opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to sell their products on the Chinese market, without immediately establishing a company locally.

E-commerce during corona

The agricultural council of the Dutch embassy in Beijing indicates that the Chinese government has set up 46 ‘cross border pilot zones’ to stimulate foreign trade, particularly in e-commerce. Would you like to receive an overview of permitted cross-border e-commerce?
Important to note: Dutch companies can only export products for which they have market access.

You can read more about the opportunities in e-commerce in the next market report.

Creative industry

The Dutch creative industry enjoys a good reputation in China. For Dutch entrepreneurs active in the creative sector, the opportunities lie mainly in the field of design, architecture and music (especially electronic dance music).

More promising sectors and business support

China is a large and diverse country. There are therefore many more interesting sectors in which you can do business. There are Netherlands Business Support Offices (NBSOs) scattered throughout China. They look at which sectors are emerging and identify the business opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs. They can also help you find business partners.

The NBSOs are located in the following Chinese cities:

  • NBSO Chengdu focuses on the agri-food, creative industry, energy, high-tech, horticulture, petrochemical industry and life sciences sectors.
  • NBSO Dalian focuses on machine building, energy, shipping and shipbuilding, ICT and agriculture and horticulture.
  • NBSO Jinan focuses on the ICT, agriculture, energy and petrochemical sectors.
  • NBSO Nanjing offers opportunities for companies in shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, petrochemicals and ICT.
  • NBSO Qingdao focuses, among other things, on the sectors of agriculture, shipbuilding and machine building.
  • NBSO Wuhan focuses on agriculture, the automotive industry, electric vehicles, machine building, shipping and shipbuilding, energy and logistics, among others.

Innovation and the IA network

China’s economic development goes hand in hand with technical-scientific progress and innovations. China faces environmental, energy, transportation, health and nutrition challenges. Cooperation with foreign knowledge centers and the exchange of researchers are of great importance for this.

The branches of the IA network in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai monitor technological developments in China and identify business opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs.

Procurement of international organizations

Opportunities also arise from the tenders of large international organizations, such as the World Bank and the European Union. Our consultants can help you with tenders at international organizations. See China Sourcing Agent.

Recent economic developments in China

In 2021, the Chinese economy recovered from the corona pandemic. China ‘s National Bureau of Statistics reported economic growth of 8.1% in 2021 compared to 2020.

However, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (October 2022) report, that growth is now slowing down. According to the IMF, this is due to the regular lockdowns and travel restrictions as a result of the Chinese government’s zero-COVID policy. In addition, the Chinese real estate market, an important part of the economy, is struggling with a crisis.

Economic Developments in China

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