A recent survey undertaken by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) found that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) face a wide and varied set of challenges when doing business in and with China. The survey polled 161 SMEs from a broad cross section of industries, with two thirds of companies having less than 5 years’ experience doing business with China.
When asked about the key challenges facing UK SMEs in China, market access and regulatory challenges, uncertainty and the difficulty of navigating Chinese bureaucracy were highlighted as main concerns. Commenting on the lack of clarity around market access, one firm commented: “China’s legislative and fiscal regulations are often confusing and difficult to understand. This is made worse by the apparent different interpretations by differing officials and authorities”.
A significant proportion of the companies surveyed pointed to the difficulty of finding trustworthy partners to work with as a main market barrier, as one company commented: “The main problem is getting accurate information about the market we serve and finding reliable partners. Finding these is the major challenge”. Companies with a more established presence in China tend to highlight the operational challenges once a company is established in China, such as recruiting and retaining staff, protecting and protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
As a result of this survey CBBC has put together the SME China Forum to be held in Manchester on October 17th. This Forum is about making your company ‘China ready’, and ensuring that the world class products and services that UK SMEs are famous for are made available in the world’s most important emerging market. By knowing these challenges and preparing for them, SMES can approach the market with greater confidence and deal with the inevitable surprises more effectively.
This Forum is suitable for new-to-market companies, old-hands and all points in between. Learn about business opportunities in China and exchange ideas and knowledge with our specially appointed SME China Business Ambassadors, who represent companies already doing business there. Ultimately, get better prepared for the challenges ahead! There will also be sessions covering key legal, tax and regulatory considerations.
Click here to learn more about the upcoming SME China Forum