A key part of international business has always been meeting customers and suppliers, but this is currently not possible with Covid-19 travel restrictions. How are businesses responding to this new challenge? To examine this question in relation to the Chinese market, Cork Chamber is delighted to partner with the Irish Chamber of Commerce China, along with the Ireland China business Association, on a webinar that is being live streamed from the Guinness Gatehouse in Shanghai. Presentations include ‘Sourcing from China’ (Jo McFarland, Sainsbury China) and ‘Exporting to China’ (Conor O’Sullivan, Bord Bia Shanghai).
Jo McFarland: Jo McFarland started her career as a Brand Manager for Dreamland. She then became a Buyer for BT where she managed 50% of the BT Retail portfolio which afterwards landed her a position at Argos in 2000.
At Argos, owned by Home Retail Group, she worked with the electrical team responsible for pioneering direct sourcing of over 20% of their range from the Far East, kicking off her experience in Asia. In 2012, she followed Argos to Shanghai and has since also worked in Hong Kong. After Sainsbury's acquired Home Retail Group in 2016, McFarland moved back to Shanghai to fulfill her role as Sainsbury's Head of Global Sourcing and leads a fulfilling life in Asia which fascinates and inspires her every day.
Conor O'Sullivan: Starting his career with Enterprise Ireland in China, Conor helped Irish companies from a wide range of industries successfully expand their exports to China. Since joining Bord Bia's Shanghai office in 2016, first as a Market Specialist and now as China Manager, Conor is dedicated and focused on developing Irish food and beverage exports to China. In his presentation, Conor will share his perspectives on key considerations for exporting to China in 2020, focusing on both changes to consumer behavior and trade in this challenging environment.