China offers huge opportunities to innovative companies willing to forge partnerships.
Despite varied reports of a slowdown in China's growth, the country can still boast growth rates of between 7-9 percent, which is far beyond the wildest dreams of most other nations.
China also has substantial amounts of foreign reserves and cash to do something positive to stimulate growth, which is a very strong prospect indeed.
Robert Martin, who heads up Scottish Development International (SDI) for the Greater China Region in Shanghai, reports increasing interest from Scottish companies looking to do business in the region – whether through a direct presence or using a partner or distributor.
"We look after companies from fundamental enquiries right through to actually helping them establish themselves here and to find distributors – and we have been seeing a year-on-year increase in that demand. Last year we helped more than 200 companies, the bulk of those in mainland China."
SDI has a offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The seat of government, Beijing is the base for many financial services and oil companies. Shanghai also has a large share of the financial sector plus creative industries and enabling technologies.
Enquiries come from across the spectrum of business, says Robert. "We look after most of the key sectors and are strong in renewable energy with oil and gas coming to the fore as well, as are life sciences.
"Food and drink from Scotland, especially at the top of the quality range, is an increasingly dynamic sector, with demand driven by a growing middle class which has aspirational tastes."
- Financial services
- Renewable energy
- Creative industries and enabling technology
- Food and drink niche markets
- Life sciences and biotech
Robert adds: "We're keen to encourage businesses at all levels and if they have a unique and innovative product then there are opportunities for them here.
"I would definitely encourage people to come into the market and not to worry about whether they are big enough. Research your market and we will help you."
Read the full article for further insights on opportunities to do business in China (pages 16-17)
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Source: Reproduced with the permission of The Herald, Glasgow © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.