Our chairman, Roger Kemp, was recently honoured to be invited as a guest speaker at the China-Britain Business Councils’ 6th SME China Forum held on 31st October at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow.
This essential annual event for SMEs seeking to export to China once again proved popular with over 200 attendees, including services providers, with representatives from hosts the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), as well as the Department for International Trade (DIT). A full programme featured executive delegates from selected companies and organisations presenting to an equally diverse audience. Roger was one of the panellists contributing to the first session of the day entitled ‘Runway to China - strategies and tactics for a soft landing in China’, alongside Kristina Koehler-Coluccia, founder Woodburn Accountants & Advisors; Nick Aston, chief enterprise officer, WorldFirst; and Ed Salt, managing director, Delamere Dairy. The session was expertly moderated by Nathalie Cachet-Gaujard, education sector lead, China-Britain Business Council.
Additional sessions included ‘Understanding the Chinese Consumer - a new wave of consumers for UK products’, ‘Innovation and Tech Partnerships’ - China moving up the value chain’ and ‘Digital China - the e-commerce powerhouse’. There was time set aside for networking and one to one advice sessions, offering a wealth of support and a chance for attendees to gain valuable insight from businesses already exporting to China.
Roger says: “We welcome the opportunity to share with other existing exporters and potential new ones our experience of entering the Chinese market. China is a great market that is looking for quality British products to import”.
He continues: “Focus SB is the first and only British luxury electrical wiring brand licensed to export electrical wiring accessories into China. You do not need to be a large company to get into this market as we have proved.
“Like all export markets you need to find the right partner(s) and have a legally binding distribution agreement drawn up. You also need to ensure you have correctly identified the sector of the market you are looking to put your products in and then find the appropriate exhibition(s) to attend. You will need to have all your products approved by the China Quality Commission before they will be allowed into the country. This included for us an inspection of our factories here in the UK.
So you have to budget for the marketing and testing costs as well as various trips to cement and establish relationships. This was a three year long haul for us and you should not expect things to happen quickly.”
Roger concludes: “ This is the first time I have attended a CBBC SME China Forum and it is definitely the place to meet other exporters, exchange experiences and get plenty of really good advice!”
Find out more about the China-Britain Business Council.
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