With well-developed home markets, star companies ranging in age from 100 to 1,000 years are out to impress at the fair IN AN AGE when brands are often here today and gone tomorrow, China has labels that are synonymous with longevity. Eight of them - aged from 100 to 1,000 years and spanning products from medicines and scissors to food, wine and seasonings - take pride of place at the third session of the China (Shenzhen) Consumer Goods Procurement Fair being held from today until Thursday in Shenzhen. They are Shan Xi Old Mature Vinegar, which has been in existence for 1,000 years, Hangzhou Zhang Xiao Quan Group, Guangzhou Zhi Mei Zhai Food, Guangzhou Food Group, Han Dan Zhen Ji Cheng Roast Chicken and Er Mao Chain Stores, Guangzhou Pan Gao Shou Medicine Stock, Beijing Tong Ren Tang Technology Development Stock and Yan Tai Zhang Yu Grape Wine Stock. All these companies are appearing by invitation. While being proud of their brands' long history and the cultural nature of their products, each company attributes its longevity to the quality of its products. And all are confident of defending their markets against newcomers, and improving them within the mainland's booming economy. They are also looking beyond China's shores, and the Shenzhen show is seen as the ideal vehicle for this. What is needed now is international experience in developing sales networks and promoting their brands to an English-speaking audience. Their home markets are well developed, but going global is a tough challenge. With more than 80 international buying groups already signed up for the fair, including Wal-Mart Stores, Ikea and Carrefour, exposure to overseas companies is guaranteed. Liu Tingxiao, manager of the domestics market of Hangzhou Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors Group, says he is looking forward to meeting representatives of international companies, particularly supermarkets. 'We expect more people to know about our products through new sales platforms like this fair,' says Mr Liu, whose company, established in 1663, is considered the leader of the scissors and cutting tools industry in the mainland. 'We are trying to develop a much larger sales network for our products and we want to make contact with large supermarkets like Wal-Mart and Ikea,' he says. The vice-minister of the Guangzhou Food Group's produce department, Zhong Lin, also expressed an interest in building ties with international companies, as well as those from Hong Kong and Taiwan. While most of the eight companies will have their products on show, Han Dan Zhen Ji Cheng Roast Chicken and Er Mao Chain Stores will not display their cuisine. Instead, representatives of the brand will be on hand to discuss their products with interested parties in the hope of finding markets in other areas of the mainland by finding some provincial and district sales deputies.