West’s small and medium-sized firms urged to look east to China for new export opportunities

April 24, 2014
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A trade mission to China to help unlock opportunities for small and medium-sized West businesses has been announced by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) South West.

While China is well known as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging around 10% over the past 30 years, and the largest exporting nation, it is also the second largest importer of goods in the world, offering opportunities in many commercial sectors.

Companies taking part in the trade mission will go to the booming regional centres of Chengdu and Chongqing – potential locations for new business – followed by a visit to Guangzhou, Bristol’s sister city.

Conformation of the week-long visit from September 20-27 comes hot on the heels of Export Week when hundreds of West business learnt about the importance of international trade.

Ahead of the visit to China, UKTI’s advice and research teams will help businesses prepare in advance to maximise the value of the visit and to set-up one-to-one meetings with prospective customers, agents and distributors.

In addition, UKTI will be hosting a series of events leading up to the trip, so businesses can learn more about the market in advance and find out more about what the visit will include.

UKTI regional director Russell Jones said: “Market visits provide participants with unique access to high quality information, business contacts and officials that it would be virtually impossible to achieve alone. They also provide participants with an opportunity to benefit from the knowledge, contacts and experience of others travelling with them.

“With good preparation and follow-up, visits can be great door-openers and participants can often achieve sales and sign contracts on a first visit if they have done their homework well.

“Such visits also provide invaluable business contacts, partnership possibilities and the opportunity to access hands-on and up-to-date market information and research.

“Our network of experts in British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates around the world is pivotal to the organisation of a market visit. Their input is invaluable, bringing local language skills, market knowledge and extensive political and commercial contacts.”

UKTI South West China adviser Antoaneta Becker added: “Trading with China is often seen as a daunting prospect due to the cultural differences. However, many South West companies have enjoyed considerable success there. With a growing middleclass market with a passion for high quality goods and services, the opportunities are limitless for British companies.

“Realising the opportunity though requires continuous updating of your knowledge and understanding of how this massive economy operates. Preparation, planning and research are key to entering any new market and China is no exception. Understanding the cultural variations is vital if you are to be successful in this thriving export market.”

Pre-visit events include:

  • China Business Clinics –May 21, Dorset
  • China Masterclass: Operations in China, employment, HR & cultural communications – June 11, Yeovil Innovation Centre
  • China Masterclass: Chinese consumers and e-commerce in China –June 25, Gloucestershire
  • China business cultural training & market visit briefing –July 16, Bath
  • China Business Clinics –September 11, Warminster

For more information about the market visit and to book a place at UKTI’s forthcoming events

visit www.ukti.gov.uk or call 0845 60 60 969. Alternatively, email Angela Maynard-Smith at angela.maynard-smith@uktisouthwest.org or call 01275 370 810.

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