An Asian powerhouse and the World’s second largest economy are just some of the reasons business leaders and politicians have employed to encourage British companies to look East.
The rapid growth of the Chinese market is no secret, with disposable income increasing five – fold in just 10 years, the most populated country in the World offers vast export potential.
Last year UK sales to the East Asian country grew by nearly 13%, reaching £10 billion, as domestic consumer spending continued to drive 7.5% GDP growth. This year’s forecast is for the same again, 7.5%, a trend widely expected to continue in the short – medium term.
Improved communications, infrastructure and an increasingly urbanised population (currently 51% expected to rise to 60% by 2020), further highlights China’s investment potential.
The population, socialised by western advertising are becoming progressively more brand orientated, with David Beckham now regarded as one of the most recognised celebrities in the People’s Republic.
However, demand for mid – high end products needs to be balanced with a local twist, China is a vast country bordering Russia, Mongolia, Kazahkstan and Krygyszstan in the north, India, Nepal and Bangladesh in the West, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in the South and Taiwan, Japan, and the Korean peninsula in the East.
A complex and exotic country countless regional differences need to be considered and exploited if your company is to reach its full potential.
Scams, fake business licences, establishing a legal identity and dubious partners can all be setbacks from which your company may not return, building personal relationships is essential and is a time – honoured custom which demands mutual business value and regular communication (usually face – to – face).
A good local interpreter is a prized asset, and as well as regular trips doing business in China will cost you £10,000s per year. The rewards could be worth it.
The EU – China SME Centre, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Asia House and the China – Britain Business Council (CBBC) are just a few of the organisations capable of facilitating market access.
Below you can find a copy a presentation delivered by CBBC and UKTI at the Hilton, Watford (June 2013).
Enterprise Europe Network has 27 offices in China; alongside our colleagues at the EU SME Centre we can provide confidential advice, guidance, in – market conference rooms and temporary office space. Contact us for more information.