Trade between the North West and China has taken off since Hainan Airlines started direct flights from Manchester Airport to Beijing in 2016.
The extent of the economic benefits are quantified in a report published this week The China Dividend: Two Years In.
To download the report, click here
Consultants Steer Davis Gleave found a 38% increase in the number of Chinese tourists and a 41% increase in exports to China via Manchester Airport.
Cumbria enjoys direct rail and motorway links to the airport and has benefited from the new air link along with the rest of the North West.
Windermere Lake Cruises, for example, has seen Chinese tour group bookings soar by 286% since the flights started.
Click here for info on VisitBritain’s China Welcome Charter
Jennifer Cormack, the firm’s Sales and Marketing Director, who is chair of the The Lake District China Forum, said: “The Lake District has seen incredible growth in the number of tourists from China since 2016.
“Having a direct flight into Manchester has opened an entirely new itinerary for Chinese visitors as we see more independent travellers, students and group tours wanting to experience The Lake District.”
The playground equipment manufacturer Playdale, at Haverthwaite, has used the direct service to begin exports to China.
Click here for our export podcast with Barry Leahey
Managing Director Barry Leahey said: “Despite having no orders from China prior to the direct route launch, it is now a major market for us with a tenth of all exports going to China.
“We have seen a 30% increase in exports to China this year and our work includes the Olympic Park Playground in Beijing, which has been featured by CCTV and China Weekly.”
There are plenty of good reasons why Cumbrian businesses should consider the Chinese market.
Read here how Kendal Nutricare cracked the Chinese market
It is the largest country in the world by population with more than 160 cities with 1m or more inhabitants.
It is a fast-growing consumer market with an increasing number of middle-income consumers and is forecast to become the world’s largest market for luxury goods by 2020.
That said, there are challenges.
Large parts of the economy are still closed to full foreign participation. There is strong competition from well-resourced state-owned enterprises, a complex business culture and, of course, the language barrier.
Read here how our export workshop helped Grasmere Gingerbread
Fortunately, help is at hand. The Chamber’s Cumbria Business Growth Hub assist businesses that want to follow Playdale’s example by targeting China.
We offer workshops, export masterclasses, online video tutorials plus information on trade shows, introductions, access to export finance and insurance, discounted flights for exporters and access to the Chamber’s export documentation service.
We’re also a partner in the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) North West support offer and can put your business in touch with specialist support available though this.
For more information call Catherynn Dunstan on 0844 257 84 50 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read here why Eden River Brew Co is targeting China
Suzanne Caldwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “China is the great economic success story of the past 30 years.
“It’s now the world’s largest economy and a huge and expanding market for UK businesses so we’d certainly encourage Cumbrian businesses to take a look at the opportunites and consider targeting China.”
The Department for International Trade has published guidance for would-be exporters to China, including a comprehensive toolkit and webinars.
Click here for DIT’s guide to selling goods and services to China
The information covers researching the market, regional differences, avoiding scams, legal issues, agents and distributors, setting up a subsidiary in China, franchising, finance, getting paid and selling online to China.
The Growth Company and DIT are hosting a workshop in Manchester on Tuesday, September 25th, on selling online to Chinese consumers. It includes a presentation from Alibaba. To register, click here.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Allerdale Borough Council (Sellafield Ltd’s Allerdale SIIF, distributed by Allerdale Borough Council), Barrow Borough Council (FEDF Coastal Communities Fund Supply Chain Initiative, the Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estates marine assets; it is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of UK Government), Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria LEP. The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, click here.
© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce