China trade trip for ambitious Sheffield firms

Nine businesses from Sheffield have travelled to China to meet potential customers as part of an export acclerator programme run by the city council.

By David Walsh
Tuesday, 16 April, 2019, 17:18
Sheffield trade mission delegates in China.

Delegates on the ‘Sheffield China 88’ trip include digital, food and drink and engineering businesses: Appt, Uniplex, Somi Trailers, Tinsley Bridge, Pura Panela, Mak Tok, Nova Porta, Palego Travel and GP Express.

They are attending the 13th Henan Cross Border Trade and Investment Event and the Bank of China Global Matchmaking for small and medium sized enterprises, followed by match-making sessions with further Chinese companies in Beijing.

Pauline Dawes, of Somi Trailers, said: “There are so many possibilities for businesses like SOMI and Tinsley Bridge with advanced manufacturing at the top of the list for exports to China.”William Chew, managing director of Mak Tok, which makes Malaysian cooking sauces, said: “It is fascinating to be meeting so many Chinese companies in one trip. It is a very exciting moment for us to join this trade mission as exporting to China is an important part of our business strategy.”

China 88 is a Sheffield City Council programme developed to help Sheffield businesses break into the Chinese market. 88 is a lucky number in China and the programme aims to work with 88 Sheffield businesses, building on Sheffield City Council’s networks in China.  

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Edward Highfield, director of City Growth at the City Council, said: “The strength of this delegation shows the city’s recent focus on trade and investment with China is bearing tangible results for Sheffield businesses.”

Businesses on the trip have funded their own travel and visas, with some assistance from the Bank of China for hotel accommodation for the Zhengzhou leg of the trade mission. Sheffield City Council has only paid for the China 88 Project Manager’s travel, visas and accommodation, he added.