Joint venture launched to help the region’s firms export to China

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Two Yorkshire entrepreneurs have set up a venture to help companies in the region import and export to China.

Richard Ward and Bridget Pearson, who both speak Mandarin, have joined forces to offer Yorkshire companies a comprehensive two-way import and export advice service.

Mr Ward, who is originally from Halifax and has spent the last five years in China, is managing director of Banfa International Trading, which supports companies sourcing goods from the Far East.

Ms Pearson, who is based in Barnsley, runs her own cultural liaison and interpretation consultancy, Your Bridge to China, which supports businesspeople who want to sell into China.

“We want to help UK companies, particularly in the Yorkshire area, to safely import from and export to China. Our aim is to help strengthen links and build trust, understanding and co-operation,” said Mr Ward.

Ms Pearson added: “I came across Richard on LinkedIn when I was dealing with a specific enquiry from one of my clients, and we’ve developed our partnership from there.

“We work together well and both know Yorkshire as well as China. Chinese people are very friendly, open and approachable so there’s a lot of common ground with Yorkshire folk.”

Latest government figures show that in the last 10 years, UK exports to China have quadrupled to £12.5bn. Yorkshire’s exports within that figure amounted to £200m and Chinese imports to Yorkshire came to £2bn.

Ms Pearson said: “Doing business with China is a priority growth area for the UK and we can help make that a reality for individual companies.

“It’s our mission to help bridge cultural and language gaps and support the development of profitable two-way business relationships.

“Richard works in China going direct to factories securing the best deals for UK clients sourcing goods from China; while I work with companies here giving them the confidence to explore selling their products into the fast-growing Chinese economy.”

From his business base in the southern city of Guangzhou Mr Ward says he is well-placed to iron out any issues between a UK customer and a Chinese supplier.

Ms Pearson, who set up Your Bridge to China a year ago, offers a range of specialist business support services designed to help companies overcome any cultural and language barriers to trade.