Why China remains a smart business opportunity
5th September 2019

These are complicated times, and relations between the UK and China are no exception. But amidst all the uncertainties, there are compelling opportunities in the Chinese market.

In fact, prospects look better than ever.

Trade between the UK and China continues to rise. In 2018 there was an increase of 2.3% over the previous year to GBP 68.5bn.

On the domestic front, China is strengthening intellectual property laws. Trademark squatting has been an issue faced by foreign companies for some time – a revision to its trademark law will see better protections introduced. Talks are meanwhile continuing over China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, of which the UK is a natural partner, and in growing industries like fintech.

The 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue between the UK and China was held in London, for example, to deepen cooperation on financial services. SMEs, who are reportedly finding China more attractive, are also seeing a degree of success. There are stories from every county.

In 2018 Norwich-based Gnaw Chocolate launched its products in China, among other markets, and Derby-based Artisan Biscuits makes a portion of its sales in China.

China’s a steep learning curve

Yet, as ongoing issues demonstrate, China is not without its challenges. Misunderstandings can and do occur, and brands on occasion get it wrong. China has many differences to the UK, and it pays to do your homework. Understanding its cultural nuances is critical, as is being out there in person to build relationships through face-to-face meetings. But a week there and back won’t cut it – we suggest getting out there at least three times before viable relationships are established.

But for those who are patient, committed and flexible, the rewards are there: the saying goes as “everything could be difficult, but anything is possible in China.”

James Cowper Kreston are currently working with businesses in China setting up in the UK and UK companies wanting to work in China. For more information please contact Alex Peal on [email protected] or on +44 (0)118 9590261.

About the author

James Cowper Kreston
Qing Lin, having lived in China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand is the CEO of Join in China and Chinese liaison for James Cowper Kreston. She utilises years of expertise and cross-culture acumen to initiate, manage, and help fulfil trade agreements between her new home county and large Asian cities, creating a bridge between UK and China for local business and organisations who are looking for opportunities in the possibly the fastest growing country in the world. With her knowledge and extensive contacts internationally, she has been tasked to advise local governments and departments, as well as social enterprises and businesses on all matters with China. Using her background in finance, education, translation, interpreting, and manufacturing, Qing has driven the company forward to forge prosperous links that allow UK businesses to expand into an international stage. For the past 12 months, Qing has been working closely with local MP and Henan Province, the largest province in China by population to attract multimillion investments into the area, as well as linking up businesses in both places for huge growth potential. This is a project has been recognised by Chinese provincial government and well-supported by UK authority.

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