Jan de Graaf, PhD

business consultant for European trade with Asia, specialized in the food industry and China

Jan de Graaf, PhD
Based in: China China Working area: global
Status: at your service Languages: English, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish
Listed in: Business & Finance, Engineering & Industry, Marketing & Sales

As a business consulting executive, I advise and help European, American and other international companies with their business development and expansion in China, as well as other East Asian markets (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, etc.).

If you are new to doing business in China and East Asia, you absolutely need an experienced intercultural manager and consultant like me — to help you cross not only the language barrier (I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese), but also the cultural and legal ones. Trust me, it is a world apart.

I have been working in Asia since 2001 and have spent 15 years in China alone, managing project budgets of up to €15 million and building long-term business relationships for my clients — mostly from the food & drink industry, various trade and industry associations, as well as other areas.

  • Business services for European, American, and other international companies
    • Market studies for export–import, market exploration, and business trips
    • Business development and high-level networking
    • Importer and distributor research
    • Establishing contacts with retailers and supporting your listing
    • Market development and support, positioning, label design, etc.
    • Marketing advice, including public relations and media presence
    • Optimisation of market-entry processes and multilingual team management
    • Trade fairs, conferences, exhibits, and event management
    • Trading of meat by-products
  • For Asian trade partners and importers of European products (German or others)
    • Business consulting and support for imports from the European Union
    • News highlights about European companies and new products
    • Seminars, tastings and sampling of food products
    • Product sourcing and business trips to trade fairs, government offices, associations and companies (including media coverage)
    • Information about publicly funded export marketing of German products
  • For European authorities and associations of export promotions (German or others)
    • Delegation trips and trade fair accompanying programs
    • Food promotions, exhibitor evenings
    • B2B matchmaking
    • Media work and PR
    • Store checks and market intelligence

In addition to having lived and worked in China, I also hold a university degree with exams from Modern Chinese Studies, Sinology, Political Science, Law and Economics from Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn, as well as PhD and Master’s Degree in Chinese Environmental Protection Law from the University of Cologne. So I am well aware of the complex environmental, political, and economical issues related to European trade relations with China.

If you are looking for an highly experienced trade expert who speaks a number of international languages, I would be delighted to discuss your business case. My approach is always pragmatic, innovative, proactive, and I am also willing to travel and lead difficult business negotiations — two skills that are totally indispensable when dealing with Asian as well as European partners.

My freelance Journey to the East

Jan de Graaf, PhD

Contact details

Jan de Graaf, PhD
German Food Asia Co. Ltd., China Insurance Group Building, rooms 2102-3
141 Des Voeux Road Central
Hong Kong
Phone:+852 819 902 00

Firsthand recommendation

I have known Jan for a number of years as a friend as well as an outstanding professional with extensive knowledge of South East Asia and especially China, where he lived and worked for many years. He was one of the peer-reviewers of my best-selling book, The Freelance Way, and he helped me greatly to tweak some cultural details, making the book more relevant for readers in Asia. Jan knows his trade very well, and I can only recommend him as a reliable expert and business partner.

Robert Vlach
Robert Vlach business consultant and founder of
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