Slovakian expat falls in love with Ningbo

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated:  May 16, 2019 L M S


Mickal Berky from Slovakia poses in Ningbo Imported Commodity Center, Zhejiang province. [Photo/zjol.com.cn] 

Open, enthusiastic and spectacular is what Mickal Berky from Slovakia feels about Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

With a good command of Chinese, Berky came to Ningbo four years ago as a Slovakian ambassador during the first China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo held in Ningbo in 2015 and fell in love with the city.

"The Slovakian exhibition hall wouldn't exist without the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, and I would not be a new Ningboese," Berky recalled.

When the five-day expo was over, Berkey was approached by an international trade company in Ningbo Bonded Area, who hoped that Berkey would stay and introduce more quality Slovakian products to Ningbo. 

Most enterprises in Slovakia are small and medium-sized and, although interested in the huge Chinese market, are often held back by a lack of channels and the high cost of cross-border marketing. 

"Ningbo boasts a well-developed distribution network that can connect market demands between China and CEE countries. For those who engage in foreign trade, Ningbo is competitive in terms of goods quality and costs," said Berky.

Over the past four years, the young man and his Ningbo friends have introduced an increasing number of niche Slovakian products to Ningbo and to the country as a whole, including non-alcoholic beverages, Slovakian beers, snacks and healthcare products. 

Speaking of the China-CEEC Expo this year, Berky said that he hopes Slovakia, one of the guest countries of honor, will take the opportunity to promote different products other than wines and snacks, while strengthening exchanges in science and technology and education with Ningbo. 

In recent years, trade between Ningbo and Slovakia has become more frequent. In 2018, the total import and export volume between the two sides hit $146 million, a year-on-year increase of 58.5 percent.