Selling more abroad. Why UK companies must look to China and Asia. Advice for UK Exporters.

According to a far-reaching report undertaken by HSBC (Global Connections report February 2013), of the 10 fastest-growing export markets in the world, 6 are in Asia.

The opportunities that are presented to UK companies in this no longer “developing” but now fully emerged region just cannot be ignored, and are highlighted by Richard Mullett and Iris Cai in this video providing insight and advice for UK exporters.

Alongside the business behemoth that is China, the ASEAN countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) form a 10-nation trading bloc that comprises a population of around 600 million consumers, and a combined nominal GDP of over US$ 2.3 trillion.

This video explains some of the opportunities for UK companies and why UK exporters, and brand Britannia have such an advantage in China and Asia.

What are the opportunities for UK companies exporting to China and Asia?

Richard Mullett: MD of The Legal Partners, providing legal advice for UK exporters

“I think the opportunity is so great in Asia that it can’t be ignored. HSBC has forecast that between now and 2030, of the 10 fastest growing export markets, 6 are in Asia so countries such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia India Korea will be household names for the exporters. So in the way that America has changed our business lives in the 20th Century, Asia is doing that now in the 21st and will continue to do so.”

What sort of Products and Services are in Demand in China?

Iris Cai: China specialist, LBS lecturer, Founder of Positive Speaking, China Partner at The Legal Partners.

“Good quality products and services are in demand in China, and also we can say, a lot of sectors have good demand in China:

  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Technology
  • Software

If we look at how Chinese People say The “UK”, we say “Ying Guo” which means “Elite Country” and the British People are Elite Country People.

In Chinese people’s eyes, we say that good products made in the UK are good quality and we think the services and products are very innovative and creative.

I participated in the Radio 5 Live’s program “on the money”. In the past 2 years I’ve met over 100 successful CEOs entrepreneurs, of which 60% of the businesses are doing business in China, and another 20% are thinking about doing business in China. So we can see the trend of doing business in China.”

Is that the same in other Asian countries?

Richard: “We’ve seen that our clients in certain sectors are being successful. So:

  • Education and Training, from universities to online training providers
  • High value engineering component exporters
  • In the media and technology area:
    • where the UK is strong, Malaysia and Taiwan are going to become the creative centers of Asia. So companies like BT and Pinewood studios have already set up in Malaysia. That creates great opportunities for our clients to work in those countries.
  • Online retailing:
    • the UK has tremendous expertise in online retailing which can be exported, and that will be a subject of another program in our series.”

What are the next steps to exporting?

Richard: “There are 3 easy steps to take next. First, if it’s a China area which the exporter is focusing on, Iris and her team in China can help. We have also set up relationships with partner law firms in Asia. They are well connected and they are great at referring opportunities. Finally, UKTI has a market intelligence service that can be accessed and used to your advantage.

How do UK companies reach Chinese markets?

Iris: “We help British companies to have effective business communication with China. In Chinese we have an old saying, to achieve great success we need to achieve 3 conditions:

  1. Right Time
  2. Right Place
  3. Right People

Currently we do consulting for a British Royal Warrant textile company, to help them export to China. And I’ve found it’s so easy to help them to achieve good results in a very effective way. I think there are 3 reasons for this.

  1. Quality of the products is the key
  2. China is the right place to do business, 1.4 billion people, and their income is increasing
  3. The right people. To have a good team, we work together, have trust and then together we deliver the positive results.

If we look at the Right Time, now China ranks no 2 in GDP in the world. In the next 40 years, in the GDP rankings award, GDP rankings in next 40 years

  1. China
  2. America
  3. India

(London Business School: Asia Business Forum 2011)

The gap between no 1 and no 2 is 4 times. So think about the long term, look at the trend. Business leaders have the vision of doing business in China.”

We hope you have found this video and article helpful. Please rate it, and thank you for doing so.

We’ve called our next video in this series “You could be exporting to Asiain 90 days here’s now”. It’s out soon. Make contact with us here if you would like to receive notification when this is published on Open to Export site.

Already exporting? For helpful legal advice and know now on negotiating terms and managing suppliers, agents and distributors, log onto The Legal Partners website or contact The Legal Partners directly on +44 208 334 8049

Richard Mullett is a lawyer, entrepreneur and MD of The Legal Partners, Negotiating success for business in UK and Asia. The Legal Partners are members of the UKTI Trade Advisory Network.

Hongbing Iris Cai is a China specialist, and a regular contributor on Southeast Asian business affairs to the popular Radio 5 Live programme “On The Money“, as well as Head of China Desk for London-based lawyers The Legal Partner specializing in ASEAN commercial matters.

For more information about effective business communication with China, contact Iris at Positive Speaking.

Countries: China
Export Action Plan