Chinese growth opportunities for UK firms

Cheese making at the famous The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes deep in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture by Tony Johnson
Cheese making at the famous The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes deep in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture by Tony Johnson
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UK exporters should not be put off by China’s slowing economy and volatile stock market and instead focus on significant growth opportunities, according to a trade expert.

Matthew Grandage, expert associate on China affairs at Chamber International in Bradford, believes that there are still huge opportunities in China for British producers.

Yorkshire companies already trading with China include Wensleydale Creamery, Arla foods, and DWA architects in York.

Having experienced double-digit growth for more than a decade China is now going through a painful period of readjustment as growth inevitably slows.

Chamber International provided services that facilitated £82m of exports to China in 2015, most of which was from Yorkshire.

Total UK exports of goods and services to China have seen a huge rise in recent years. The figure was £18.3bn in 2014, up from £2bn in 2000.

Mr Grandage said: “British businesses tend to compete in China based on quality, brand and specialist knowledge, not just on price, so the shutdowns in, for example, China’s steel industry, are not likely to affect UK exports much.

“There are great new opportunities too because strong, lean, innovative Chinese producers are demanding levels of quality, service, safety and efficiency that they would never have considered even 10 years ago.”

He added: “British fast moving consumer goods producers shouldn’t let themselves be put off by China’s stock market woes – their market is China’s middle and wealthy classes, and 2015-16’s share price volatility reflects a massive growth in that market.

“China’s food imports are growing rapidly, driven by chronic local undersupply, rising disposable incomes, and consumers’ concerns about quality and safety.

“British fashion and clothing producers also have a great market opportunities in China too, provided they protect their distribution and intellectual property rights.”

For more information and advice on doing business in China or exporting in general, go to www.chamber-international.com <http://www.chamber-international.com> www.chamber-international.com

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