Voice of British business in China visits Chamber International

11 June 2019


During his recent visit to the UK, British Chambers of Commerce in China (BCCC) chair Nicholas Holt (pictured below centre, with Matthew Grandage, left, and Mark Goldstone, right) made time in his busy schedule to present BCCC’s newly published 2019 Position Paper to Chamber International and West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce on 17 May.

     Voice of British business in China visits Chamber International

The 72-page document, revealed just a few days earlier to the Chinese and British governments, is a major step forward for BCCC, the one unified, independent voice for British business in China.

Close to 1000 businesses are members of BCCC, including big names like Airbus, Barclays, Glaxo SmithKline and BUPA, but also many SMEs, which make up 60% of their membership.  Because market access issues are challenging for many of these companies, the Position Paper advocates for changes in a wide range of areas, including cybersecurity, intellectual property rights, licensing restrictions, public procurement strategy and more.

Speaking about the business climate in general, Holt said, “US tariffs against China have an indirect effect on British business in China, in terms of sentiment, and confidence, and also direct effects, when they get caught in crossfire.  That said, our recent Business Sentiment survey reported that 65% are optimistic about the business prospects in China for the next two years.  We do not advocate for nativist, tit-for-tat protectionist trade.  We don't advocate reciprocity.  We advocate for open trade".

Mark Goldstone, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s director of policy, presented an overview of business in the region, highlighting strengths including fintech, robotics and healthcare (Leeds), IOT (Bradford) and agritech (York), all of which are sectors in which China wants to develop, and source technology and expertise from the UK. 

British companies that are new to China, or considering market entry, can benefit from peer-to-peer conversations with others who are more experienced, conversations that chamber networks can facilitate.

Afterwards, Holt updated Chamber International’s China specialist Matthew Grandage regarding other developments at BCCC, and future opportunities, including a formal MOU to further enhance cooperation and information sharing between the two organisations.


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