Relationship Building is Key to Winning Business in China


Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has said companies from Northern Ireland are setting a trail blazing example that others should follow.

Speaking on the last day of a trade mission to China, Jonathan Bell said building relationships was key to success in what is a market place with huge potential.

The Minister said: “In China, the term guanxi refers to the relationships fostered between individuals or organisations. This week has been about supporting those businesses focused on trading here and to help them nurture lasting partnerships in China.

“As one of the world’s largest economies, China has established itself as an economic force globally and a country which promises huge business opportunities. Many local companies such as Andor Technology, BI Electrical, Randox Laboratories and Schrader Electronics have been blazing a trail for many years in the Chinese market, while new entrants include Irwin’s bakery who recently secured its first business here with China Merchants Food.

“Their hard work has enabled other firms to explore the potential of working with the Chinese. The significant rise in exports over the last four years to £95million is proof of what can be achieved but I believe we can and will achieve so much more.

“Invest NI has had a presence in Shanghai for many years, and its office recently expanded to include three trade advisors. The addition of the Beijing office in 2013 highlighted the growing need for their support and has proven invaluable in helping companies to continue to drive exports.

“The last week has involved a packed itinerary and I have held numerous meetings at both a political and business level to promote both our business and tourism offering.

"The Fresh Start deal means that we now have a date and a rate for lower corporation tax. That makes the Northern Ireland proposition even more attractive to potential investors. We have the talent, we offer a cost competitive location and now we also have a reduced corporation tax rate from April 2018. It is a message I have been delivering this week in China and that I and my colleagues in Invest NI will continue to promote on the global stage."

Jonathan Bell added: “I look forward to continuing to help strengthen Northern Ireland’s relationship with China in the months and years ahead.”