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Links between Wales and China for business and trade are already being developed and through the British Chamber of Commerce in China, there is a lot of great information and useful resources on which to draw, as a Welsh company looking to import or export from or to China.

The BCCC has been helping businesses (such as introducing Welsh food into China). The size of the Chinese market makes it one which is full of opportunities but certainly with its complexities such as because of the language and the way of doing business in China. Chinese business culture is very different from Wales as I explain below.

Wales and China Business Connections

Wales and China have developed significant business ties over the years, fostering economic relationships across various sectors. Here are some key aspects of their business links:

1. Trade Relations

Wales and China have seen a growth in trade relations. Welsh businesses export various goods such as machinery, chemicals, metals, and vehicles to China. Additionally, China exports a wide range of products, including electronics, textiles, and machinery, to Wales.

2. Investment

Chinese investment in Wales has increased notably in sectors like renewable energy, infrastructure, and real estate. Projects like the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon and renewable energy initiatives have attracted Chinese investors.

3. Education and Research Collaboration

There are partnerships between Welsh and Chinese universities, fostering collaborations in research, student exchange programs, and joint educational initiatives. These partnerships enhance cultural understanding and promote academic excellence.

4. Tourism

The tourism industry has played a role in connecting Wales and China. Efforts to attract Chinese tourists have led to initiatives like promoting Welsh landmarks, cultural exchanges, and facilitating travel between the two regions.

5. Manufacturing and Technology

Wales has a strong manufacturing base, and collaborations with Chinese companies in technology, manufacturing, and innovation have been beneficial for both sides.

Joint ventures and technology transfers have helped both countries.

6. Cultural Exchanges

Cultural ties, including festivals, exhibitions, and cultural exchanges, have contributed to a better understanding between Wales and China. These exchanges create opportunities for businesses by fostering relationships and trust.

7. Government Initiatives

Both governments have made efforts to strengthen bilateral ties through trade missions, business forums, and agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation in various fields.

8. Challenges

Challenges such as differences in business practices, language barriers, and regulatory differences exist. However, efforts to work through any barriers continue.

Overall, the business links between Wales and China continue to grow, presenting opportunities for trade, investment, education, and cultural exchange that benefit both regions.

Chinese Business and Wales

The Chinese market is an important one and offers a great opportunity to those of us based in cities such as Swansea, Newport, Cardiff or who are based in West and North Wales.

If you are looking to expand into the Chinese market or visit China though, there are some cultural points worth considering and several things you can do to increase your chance of getting a deal done in China.

Basic Customs

Although not absolutely necessary, even learning and understanding some basic customs, can make a significant difference. In China for example, ones age is essential with the idea that you must respect elders taken quite seriously.

If someone is two years older than you, you should not raise your glass higher than theirs when clicking drinking glass. It would act as a sign of disrespect.

A book such as Culture Shock! China which you can buy on amazon.co.uk and read whilst on the airplane in two to three hours can be sufficient to quickly learn what you need. The process of learning need not be too time-consuming or costly.

Wales and Opportunities in China

As mentioned above, the diverse range of cultures that comprise Chinese society means that they have a desire and interest for a variety of products and services. Wales’s main exports at the moment include:

  • Heavy machinery
  • Iron and Steel
  • Aerospace Systems
  • Dairy Products
  • Plastics
  • Local foods

There is little that the Chinese market is not open to, with consumerism at levels unseen in the past.

The aforementioned British Chamber of Commerce is certainly a great starting point if you are looking to evaluate the Chinese market for its potential as a marketplace for your specific products or services.

Useful Resources for Wales China Business:

  • Wales.com has some great information on trade relations between Wales and China on their site.