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Building networks and learning at the CBBC China Conference 2014

Lan-bridge attended the 2014 CBBC conference on 14th of January. It was a great chance to learn about the opportunities for British companies in China (as well as the challenges) and to network with our peers.

The conference opened with speeches from Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign Office, and HE Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, among others. The plenary session was followed by a discussion of how China is transforming and the resultant opportunities for UK businesses. One stand out point was that alongside the opportunities afforded by China’s burgeoning middle class, the purchasing power of China’s blue collar workers also offers potential – already this group has a purchasing power that outstrips the whole of Indonesia, and is 30% greater than Turkey.

In later sessions, we learnt of some British creative companies that are thriving in China, as well as the challenges they face. It was stressed that patience and commitment were they key for building successful commercial relationships in China. This was echoed in an afternoon session on China’s industrial transformation. Several UK companies are capitalising on China’s industrial growth by selling industrial and manufacturing products. Topics under discussion included IP and how to work with and manage local Chinese staff. The question of how to manage cultural and linguistic issues was discussed, as well as the benefits of having Chinese native speakers on the staff. There was also a session on China outbound, and the growing presence of Chinese companies in the UK (of which Lan-bridge is one).

The conference was a great opportunity to hear the latest thinking on China’s transformation and the challenges and opportunities for British companies. In addition, there were great networking opportunities, giving Lan-bridge a chance to meet old friends and potential new partners and clients, as well as others in the Chinese business community.

Find out more about the CBBC (China-Britain Business Council) here.

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