The chance to be a player in China’s vast consumer market of 1.4 billion people is the mouth-watering prospect for manufacturers and service industry chiefs at a breakfast seminar in Birmingham next month.
Overseas opportunity in China has so far mainly focused on manufacturing – but the Institute of Directors is predicting that opportunities will soon open up in higher-value-added business and financial services.
It wants companies in the West Midlands to be aware of the strategic risks and opportunities in the world’s fourth largest economy, which is doubling in size every ten years.
It is staging a seminar – International Insight for Business: China – in conjunction with HSBC on Tuesday, July 8, at the Botanical Gardens, Edgbaston.
Keynote speaker will be Stuart Nivison, HSBC’s head of trade and and supply chain in Europe.
He will be supported by Jeremy Butler of KPMG, Richard Butler, Advantage West Midlands’ head of inward investment, and Clive Dutton, head of planning and regeneration at Birmingham City Council.
IoD regional chairman Richard Boot said: “China’s economy looks set to remain buoyant providing a strong consumer base for any company.
“For those who can navigate the political and cultural maze there are golden nuggets for the taking, particularly within the service and retail sectors, but how do you tap into these?
“The HSBC has 142 years of continuous presence in mainland China and Stuart Nivison and other speakers will share their insight and examine the key trends, challenges and opportunities that businesses experience today in China.
“We will discuss how to conduct business effectively and establish contacts, legal aspects and financial guidelines, cultural and communication issues.”
The AWM and City Council representatives are able to “open valuable doors” through the links they have established in China with the takeover of MG by Nanjing Automobile Company which is now part of the Shanghai automotive group, Mr Boot said.
“Analysts predict corporate Birmingham and the West Midlands are likely to lead economic recovery in Britain because it will be underpinned by the many multi-million pound developments that are either underway or in the pipeline.
“These huge developments are centred at Longbridge, New Street Station, Birmingham Airport, and Northfield Town Centre.
“Industry here needs to take the lead now and to be aware of the incredible opportunities for business in China.
“These will be fuelled by GDP growth, Chinese currency appreciation against sterling, and a rapidly developing consumer market.
“Currently China does not rank in the top 100 in per capita income and there are significant regional income disparities, but even if GDP growth slows the doubling-in-a-decade story will hold.”
IoD members can book a place at breakfast seminar for £25 + VAT, non members £35 + VAT. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the IoD WM Regional Office, 1 Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD.