China mission targets new business centres

Tianjin, China’s third largest city, and Shenyang, a major industrial base, feature for the first time on an Invest Northern Ireland business mission to North East China. Thirty one directors and senior managers from 21 companies and organisations are taking part in the mission which will also visit Beijing, from 13-22 May.

Included in the delegation are companies with substantial business interests in China, including Andor Technology, which opened an office in Beijing last year; APT, which has supplied digital audio technology to China Radio; Delta Print and Packaging, which has printing plants in China; Liddell Linens, a supplier of quality linens to customers such as the Mandarin Oriental hotels and Cathay Pacific airline; Botanica International, a small company providing herbal remedies to organisations such as the Jockey Club in Hong Kong; and Randox Laboratories, a leading provider of diagnostic kits to hospitals and clinics across the country.

The University of Ulster which has an office in Hong Kong and has established partnerships with universities in China is also participating in the mission.

Invest NI Trade Director Alan Hingston, commenting on the mission, said: “China continues to be one of the most popular and successful international markets for our companies, both large and small.

“Many relationships have been established that will surely strengthen significantly in both the short and long terms, because our companies find China such a good place in which to do business.

“Seven companies are visiting China for the first time on one of our missions and they have been assisted by Invest NI’s Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai.

“As well as companies which are exporting their goods and services, the delegation also includes firms interested in a range of trading opportunities such as exploring the potential for partnerships with Chinese businesses.

“It’s a measure of the growing interest in China that our decision to include two new centres, Tianjin and Shenyang, brought an impressive response from our companies. Encouragingly most of the companies in the delegation are visiting the new centres.

“Both are significant industrial centres in North East China, a region with an overall population in excess of 107 million and representing a huge marketplace.

“Tianjin, for example, is the ninth biggest port in the world and is a major centre for commerce, trade, technology and finance. Shenyang has a population of around five million and is an important hub for international trade activity,” he added.

The delegation will also be attending major networking events that have been organised in conjunction with the British Embassy and the China-Britain Business Council.

The mission is the first of two to China planned by Invest NI this year. The second will be in November and will visit Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai.