Preparing for business with an emerging giant

January 05, 2009
Written by Berl Thomas
A new international flower forum was held last fall in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. The Yangtze Delta International Flower Forum, held Oct. 20-23, had 16 speakers from the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Germany and China, along with some 250 Chinese industry attendees.
A closeup of Gold Brocade,
one of the groundcover plants
being grown by Zhejiang
HongyueSeed Co. Ltd
Yangtze Delta International
Flower Forum delegates prepare for a bus tour of the region.
Among bus tour stops was
Zhejiang Hongyue Seed Co. Ltd., located in Haining City.
The company’s website is Hongyue
was a conference organizer,
and has sales offices in mostprovinces in China.
The balcony container plant industry has considerable potential in China.  

Delegates learned about phytosanitary regulations and import requirements of different countries. Information about production and consumption trends of flower and nursery plants in China and the Yangtze River Delta area was presented. The forum encouraged Chinese growers to re-evaluate their flower products with a global perspective, with respect to quality and consistency, if they are to succeed in export markets.

Speakers also discussed markets and trends in several international countries including integrating the flower supply chain in the Netherlands, mail order business in the U.K., garden centre trends in the U.K., flower marketing in Japan, controlled release fertilizers from Germany, measurement systems for plant production in the U.S., and innovations in propagation of forestry species in Australia.

It consists of two provinces (Jiangsu and Zhejiang) and Shanghai. The metropolitan area centred at Shanghai, and flanked by the major urban centres of Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing, is home to nearly 90 million people, of which an estimated 80 million are urban residents. It is the centre of Chinese economic development and surpasses all other major metropolitan regions (including the Pearl River Delta) in the People’s Republic of China in terms of economic growth, productivity and per capita income. The area may well evolve into the world’s largest city in terms of population.  The region has an extensive transportation network of railways and expressways, in addition to five of the country’s largest seaports and five major airports.

The infrastructure and the economic conditions point to the Yangtze River Delta area as the area due to see the largest expansion of home gardening and the continued expansion of parks, landscaping and the use of ornamental plants in China.
Shanghai is the centre of the region and has two important events related to the flower industry within the next two years, including the 11th Hortiflorexpo from April 1-4, 2009, and the 2010 World Expo.

Hortiflorexpo is considered a national exposition for the China flower industry. It was launched in 1998 and has grown every year. It is the most recognized flower industry trade show in the Chinese horticultural and floricultural field. There were 361 exhibitors from 24 countries and regions that participated in the ninth Hortiflorexpo in 2007, including 98 foreign firms. International pavilions included the U.S., the Netherlands, Korea, Colombia and Belgium. It attracted 13,471 visitors.


Consultant Berl Thomas, of Berl Thomas and Associates, Inc., is a North American contact for horticultural trade with China and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit the show’s website at

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