It’s a real pleasure to introduce this Guide to Doing Business in China.
Over the past couple of years, China has jumped up the list of our biggest destinations for exports. It has also become one of the fastest growing sources of inward investment into the UK. Massive and accelerating urbanisation, the spending power of China’s new middle class and the increasing globalisation of Chinese capital and business mean those trends are set to continue.
As China strives to become more innovative and competitive as a knowledge economy, the creativity and innovation that runs through British businesses make us an increasingly natural partner on their journey.
That makes it even more important for more UK companies to take the plunge and come to China. But come with their eyes open, ready to seize the opportunities and handle the challenges. China’s business environment can be tough. The regulatory environment is not always clear and transparent. Rules can change – often and quickly – with all the attendant lack of predictability that this causes. There are barriers to market access in some important areas. We are working hard to address these issues and help British companies get the most out of the opportunities here.
And make no mistake. The opportunities are huge, unprecedented, across all sectors. Many will be in the so-called Regional Cities outside China’s well-known economic hubs, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. You’ll find information about many of those cities in this Guide.
A final word. No Guide to a market as diverse, complex and fast-changing as China can hope to be absolutely comprehensive. And it can’t be a substitute for market research, due diligence or legal and professional services (all of which we can help you access). But what I hope it can and will do is whet your appetite, give you some useful information and advice in an accessible way, and point you in the right direction. Stick with it. China is worth it.
Dr. Catherine Raines
UKTI's Director General for Trade & Investment, China
As Chief Executive of the China-Britain Business Council, it is a great pleasure to add my introduction to this Guide to Doing Business in China.
British companies have long been market leaders and pioneers all around the world. Our reputation for excellence, innovation, design and ambition is well-recognised in China. And China today – a dynamic, fast-changing and exciting market – offers British companies some of the very best opportunities anywhere in the world.
China is not always straightforward and it is complex in its diversity. But that is what can make it so exciting too. This guide has been designed to help companies understand the nature and the sheer scale of the opportunity, as well as the issues that need to be considered as you enter and expand in the market.
The good news is that UK companies can access a wealth of expert support and advice from organisations such as CBBC and UKTI. CBBC has 60 years of first-hand experience of helping British companies to develop their business in and with China. We have 10 offices in the UK and 13 across key locations in China, and we work in close partnership UK Trade & Investment. The wealth of practical support and guidance we offer British companies is only an email or telephone call away, be it to the UK or to any of our offices across China. I encourage you to use it. And if you need more detailed advice we can help introduce you a wide range of experts in every conceivable field, many of them members of CBBC.
I hope this guide helps both to inspire you and deliver the success your business aspires to in China. Passion, patience and tenacity invariably pay off in what I think is one the most exciting countries to do business in.
Chief Executive China-Britain Business Council (CBBC)