China in your hand

Posted on 31 Jan 2011 by The Manufacturer

Avoid taking taxis, hire meeting rooms instead of using hotel foyers and employ a trusted interpreter when doing business in China, is some of the advice given to 80 companies at a MAS-WM event.

More than 80 West Midlands-based manufacturers declared their interest in exploiting opportunities in the country on Friday, at a ‘China in your hand’ summit held in Birmingham, funded by the Manufacturing Advisory Service West Midlands

Delegates heard from Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, Stephen Phillips of the China Britain Business Council, and businessmen who have previously found success exporting to Asia. They were told that as well as low carbon opportunities, Chinese people have some of the fastest rising disposable incomes in the world and a taste for Western brands. The automotive industry, for example, now sells 18 million cars within China each year. This represents annual growth of 25%.

Attendees were given tips on how to begin trading with the Far East country, including information on market research, cultural significances and getting quality, cost and delivery. Advice on UK Trade & Investment’s ‘Passport to Export’ and ‘Gateway to Global Growth’ schemes was also on offer.

“China can no longer just be seen as a threat. In fact, its staggering growth has now created an economy that is less export-led and more focused on meeting demand in its massive domestic market,” explained said Simon Griffiths, chief executive of MAS-WM.

“The country also wants to move up the value added chain and transform its reputation from ‘made in China’ to ‘designed in China’. They can’t do this overnight and are now looking to Europe and the UK in particular to help them with joint ventures or new trading agreements. We have to make sure the West Midlands is at the forefront of these opportunities.”