Even with the slowing of growth, China is still an expanding market. So what exactly are the opportunities for foreign brands in this region?

One of our agencies, Language, in the UK recently interviewed Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive of China Britain Business Council (CBBC), on this very topic. Stephen had quite a bit to say on the subject, and you can read the interview in full here.

Some highlights are below discussing why now is a great time to invest in China and also four key opportunities to get involved:

Question: We hear a lot in the news that the Chinese economy is slowing, so what is the Chinese market like for UK businesses in 2015? Is it still a good time to enter the market?

SP: Yes!

The Chinese economy is changing shape. Chinese consumers are more sophisticated, as are Chinese businesses. This means that both increasingly want the high-quality products and services that the UK has to offer – whether at home or abroad.

At the same time, economic development in China is spreading inland, opening new opportunities in central and western areas. Indeed some of the fastest growing cities are now in these areas and also often offer a less competitive environment.

To state the obvious, China is a large and geographically diverse country. It is important to do your homework to ensure the right focus. In other words, get granular!

I would highlight 4 major drivers of the opportunity that we see:

1. Chinese Consumer.

A more affluent and more sophisticated consumer has rapidly emerged. And for many businesses e-commerce is revolutionising how they can be reached within China. And the Chinese tourist has fast-become a major force in outbound travel and overseas retail.

2. Liveable Cities.

The rapid urbanisation of China continues apace and brings with it opportunities in the built environment, as well as opportunities to meet the challenges that rapid growth has brought: envirotech, greentech, energy saving etc. At the same time, an ageing population and healthcare reform means exciting new opportunities in a range of healthcare areas.

3. Chinese Outbound Investment.

Chinese companies are fast-internationalising. As they do so they need the support of a wide range of service providers from product design, through to marketing and branding and, of course, financial and professional services.

Furthermore, partnering with Chinese companies may offer attractive opportunities for some UK businesses in ventures that play to respective strengths, for instance in Africa, the Middle East and the Commonwealth.

4. Education.

This continues to be a tremendous opportunity for the UK from schools to universities, from vocational to professional education and qualifications. And academic-business research collaborations offer exciting new potential too.

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