The COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally, and affected countries have been implementing different measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province is where the development of private economy started in China. The people are known for their business skills and many of them do business in Wuhan. They returned home from Wuhan for Chinese New Year, causing a severe situation in their hometown after the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The situation was once even more critical than in some Hubei cities.
Wenzhou’s leather-making industry is well-known in China and many manufacturers in the city have supported APLF over the years.
Knowing that quite a lot of leather and leather goods companies in Wenzhou have suffered due to COVID-19, APLF contacted the business advisory unit to donate a around 110,000 disposable surgical face masks to Wenzhou Longwan International Chamber of Commerce（温州市龙湾区国际商会）under Wenzhou Longwan Bureau of Commerce（温州市龙湾区商务局）, the local government and the enterprises to support Wenzhou in the fight against the pandemic. APLF hoped that the support would help those companies through this challenging time and minimise the impact of the virus.
In fact, since the pandemic in Wenzhou was preliminarily under control, APLF representatives visited some of the enterprises with the masks to understand the operating conditions and difficulties faced by the exhibitors.
Wenzhou Zhongbo Imp & Exp Co. Ltd（温州中博进出口有限公司）is an import and export trading company specialising in leather products such as handbags, wallets and belts, which exports mainly to Europe and America. “Since COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, European countries and the USA are also affected. Basically, most of the malls are closed and this has a great impact on our company. Many orders have been cancelled as well,” said Shi Xiaoyan, General Manager of the company.
“Fortunately, some European clients have resumed work recently and we’ve received some orders. To get through this difficult time with our clients, we have extended the payment due date of some of our loyal European clients to satisfy their demand.” Meanwhile, she expressed her gratitude for the APFL’s visit and hoped to see us at the Hong Kong fair next year.
Previously, organisers of APLF announced the next edition of APLF-Leather, Materials+ and Fashion Access will be rescheduled to 30 March to 1 April 2021.
Chen Zhexue, General Manager of Wenzhou Edolo International Co. Ltd（温州意多朗国际贸易有限公司）, a company focusing on synthetic materials, also mentioned, “During the pandemic, many of our orders were cancelled. Only some made at the end of last year are left and now in the completion stage. Currently, we need to work together with our clients to overcome difficulties. We strive for a bigger stand at APLF Hong Kong next year and a greater level of publicity.”
On how the company will get through this difficult time, Shi said, “We’re changing the business scope to diversify our products with bigger market demand; for example, to produce packaged products. Internally, our staff are taking this opportunity to learn and maintain a positive attitude to enhance our company’s management. This is only a temporary circumstance and it is believed that we can certainly get through this winter.”
“I have full confidence that our company can hang in there and the market will definitely revive in the second half of the year. Let’s meet at APLF Hong Kong next March during the warm spring.” Zhu Shanshan, the General Manager of the leather product company Wenzhou Sunshine Commercial Trade Co. Ltd（温州珊煊商贸有限公司）, also felt hopeful that the market and the economy will return to normal.
Although the impact of COVID-19 is far greater than expected and has significant influence, the current situation is stabilising as countries have been implementing control measures. We believe that we can definitely ride out the challenges as the whole industry is united right now.
Stay positive, stay connected.