There are many incredible UK and Chinese businesses trading across borders that will experience rapid commercial growth in the coming decades. Of course, British business links with China go back centuries to the days of tea and silk trading, but now there are multiple sector opportunities opening up.
We agree with Catherine Raines, chief executive of UKTI, “What we need to do now is to encourage more UK firms to go out and grab the demand in China that we know is there.”
…Are you ready to go for it? Is it time for your business to join #ukchinagoodnews?
Our clients’ businesses cover a range of sectors and each of these offers numerous opportunities for growth.
Agriculture – key opportunities
China is keen to upgrade its agri-tech and supply chain – UK expertise in robotics and biotech could offer smart answers. There are numerous UK businesses offering interesting solutions at the moment. Crop improvements that maximise the nutritional content of plants are a key need for Chinese consumers. The UK has much to offer.
Banking – key opportunities
It is time to “deepen commercial FinTech collaboration, growth and partnerships between the UK and China” Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury – EY Open Banking Opportunity Index 2018.
Creative & Media– key opportunities
“As China’s economy diversifies, and as the country moves from a heavily industrialised to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, there are ambitions for culture and creative industries to reach 5% of China’s national GDP by 2020. The UK is seen as a strong partner for China to achieve its ambitions in this sector.” UK Prime Minister’s Office, Feb 2018.
Construction & Built environment – key opportunities
All across China, the Pilot Free Trade Zones are helping to further the country’s opening up process with the rest of the world. Also, HM Government reports, “The UK is positioned uniquely to leverage opportunities from the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ through infrastructure and construction expertise to professional services and international standards.” The UK has a strong track record of delivering excellent infrastructure that supports economic growth and development; increasing connectivity and trade, reducing costs, and improving access to public services like education and health. These principles lie at the heart of China’s plans.
E-commerce & Retail– key opportunities
“China now has one billion internet users and increasing numbers of people are using mobile devices to shop on-the-go. As the market evolves, opportunities emerge for UK fashion brands and retailers to sell their goods online to Chinese shoppers.” Retail Gazette. The CBI reports that, “British brands have a distinct advantage in China, with strong associations of high quality, to the extent that our businesses are “top of the pile.”
Education & Training– key opportunities
China represents a significant potential opportunity for education and training organisations as the largest education system in the world. UKTI
Energy, Utilities & Mining– key opportunities
Now is the right time for many foreign companies with specialist cleantech solutions to invest in China. Driven by strong government and regulatory support, China’s investment in clean technology and renewable energy has made cleantech a major government priority.
Financial & Professional Services– key opportunities
Shanghai is embracing the opportunity to establish itself as a leading international finance centre.The UK’s historic strength in financial and related professional services presents immense collaborative commercial opportunities.
Food & Drink– key opportunities
China’s market for food and beverage products is vast. Chinese consumers are developing a taste for imported foodstuffs, premium quality products and all things natural and organic. China-Britain Business Council.
Healthcare & Life Sciences– key opportunities
Reforms in the healthcare sector in China offer broad opportunities for both consortia and operators. “The rapid advance of life science technology is generating limitless opportunities,. We are calling for friends and potential partners from all over the world to explore this exciting future together.” Dr. Dongliang Ge, President, BSK
ICT– key opportunities
The UK and China have a leading role to play in global tech. The strength of the Chinese ecosystem is an opportunity for the UK to collaborate, rather than compete. As China’s tech sector rapidly expands, Britain can be their bridge to European markets, while receiving valuable knowledge, experience and scaling prospects in return. UKTN.
Meanwhile, China is the largest holders of blockchain patents in the world with the People’s Bank of China submitting 41 patent applications in the last 12 months alone. And China’s Communist Party has even released a book titled “Blockchain — A Guide for Officials”. No government has made this commitment or investment which is endorsed by President Xi, who calls blockchain a “breakthrough” technology.
Whilst, the UK now falls behind China in in developing and patenting AI and blockchain, it is still a hub and there are many opportunities to collaborate between the two countries.
Manufacturing– key opportunities
China’s rising demand for advanced manufacturing offers unprecedented opportunity to UK innovative manufacturers.
Transport & Logistics– key opportunities
China’s consumer boom presents huge opportunity for UK transport and logistic businesses. “The warehousing and logistics sector is really following growth in consumption,” said Stuart Ross, head of industrial at JLL in China. “Chinese consumers have taken online consumption to the greatest level in the world.”
Sports & Leisure– key opportunities
“China represents a goldmine right now to those in the business of sport.” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK. China’s leisure market continues its strong growth accounting for 11% of China’s total consumer expenditure. Cruise holidays and theme parks had shown high planned growth as well as domestic travel, sports event and food delivery. OC&C Strategy Consultants.
Travel & Tourism – key opportunities
“In less than two decades China has grown from travel minnows to the world’s most powerful outbound market” according to the Telegraph and opportunites exist for UK hotels, tour operators and attractions to make themselves “China-ready”. Equally, as China changes from an export-led to consumption-led economy, British travel and tourism brands have great kudos and expansion opportunity in China.
So…. are you ready?
The evidence supports the view that “if you are not currently doing business in (or with) China, you probably should be.“ World Business Culture.