Since 2014, British exports to China have seen a £2.2bn increase, bringing the 2015 value to £18.1bn – with Jaguar Land Rover standing as the UK’s biggest exporter to China.
The total value of exported goods from Yorkshire and the Humber was £16.5bn in 2015, of which just 2.4% or £410m was to China.
However, exports from Yorkshire and the Humber to China have doubled in the past 10 years – a clear signal that this is a growing area of opportunity.
Greater China is recognised as the largest information and communications technology market in the world, which has led many analysts to maintain that this sector provides exceptional prospects for the UK.
The country is also forecast to become the world’s largest luxury goods market by 2020, meaning that export opportunities will abound for retailers of fashion, beauty, automotive, high-end foodstuffs and jewellery.
“While we’re all aware of a slowdown in growth of the Chinese economy, it’s all relative,” said Mark Robson, left, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber.
“It is still the second-largest economy in the world and compared to many other export markets, China continues to expand at a robust rate, remaining one of the biggest potential markets for first-time and established exporters in Yorkshire and the Humber.
“We already have many such businesses that sell their goods through physical distributors and other channels including via some of the many online retail platforms such as Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon.
“In Yorkshire itself, Burberry exports a good proportion of its iconic luxury products right from its brand new £50m manufacturing and weaving facility at South Bank in Leeds.
“Other sectors in which Yorkshire and the Humber trades with China include financial and professional services, education and training, healthcare and mechanical engineering.”
He added: “It is a massive and growing market with which many businesses are trading successfully, with help and advice from initiatives such as the Exporting is GREAT campaign and bodies such as the China Britain Business Club.
“China is a country that has huge opportunity and support from the Exporting is GREAT campaign, China Britain Business Club, universities and many professional advisors that can help Yorkshire and the Humber businesses work through a plan to tackle the unique elements in the Chinese market such as its scale and businesses culture.”