London borough aims to boost China links

By Dai Tian in London | | Updated: 2016-12-05 17:45

Enfield, a borough in north London with deep manufacturing roots, is counting on closer links with China for job creation, according to local officials.

"We are very keen to work with companies and the Chinese government to understand the approach to the market, making sure our apprenticeship here is matching the need," Joan Ryan, Member of Parliament for Enfield North, told China Daily on Friday on the sidelines of a China business workshop held in Delta Park Industrial Estate.

The seminar, co-hosted with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) aims to inform companies of China's political and economic environment and outline what support is available from national and local government.

"China is definitely a market our business needs to reach into", said Ryan, quoting industry projections that China, currently the UK's fourth export destination, will become the largest luxury goods market by 2020, and see a middle class population grow to 600 million in the years to come.

Though still planning her first visit to the country next year, Ryan cited the seminar that drew representatives of over 15 companies as an example of growing interest in China. "We have to keep down the size so that people can ask detailed questions."

The borough is home to factories of companies such as Siemens, Johnsons and local healthcare brand Fortuna.

Known for once pioneering in colour-television manufacture, Enfield now dwells on another relatively new focus, as Chinese ethnicity accounts for only 1 percent of the area's population.

However, such initiative comes as Britain i8ntends to boost exports to China as its second largest destination by 2025.

"To achieve the goal, the government will provide direct service supports to help companies broaden the access," said John Pearson, deputy head of the China Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, adding that the two countries have communications at multi-level and on a regular basis.

Britain has seen most trades and investment deals with China in aerospace, healthcare, environmental and other technologies, as the two have entered into a "golden era", accompanying President Xi Jinping's state visit last October.

"The visa center in China is UK's largest one in the world, issuing about half a million visas per year. The average Chinese tourists spend twice as much as others," said Pearson, "At the moment we have about 140,000 Chinese students in the UK."

"China's middle class is the key opportunity in the UK," said Mark Hedley, business adviser of the CBBC, adding that the group tends to have a higher level of disposable income than the west because of different family structure.

The e-commerce that is becoming pervasive in China makes it easier than before to engage with Chinese consumers through social media and targeted marketing, Hedley noted.

"The British heritages have huge power in China, with incredible respect and awareness," said the adviser, "Companies shouldn't be afraid to play on your Britishness."

Quality export products lie in the key of the links with China, said Ryan.

To contact the reporter:

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349