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International Trade Club: an Edinburgh- Shenzhen success story

Posted: 5th December 2019

November saw a delegation of six businesses from Edinburgh travel to Shenzhen for a 4 day trade mission organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, supported by the Edinburgh-Shenzhen Creative Exchange and led by Edinburgh Global Connections, to explore opportunities for Scottish-Chinese collaborations as part of their growing international business strategy.

The Scottish delegation included businesses from the creative and technology sectors – HeeHaw and Freak Films. AMPM, Dentons, Hibernian Football Club and UK-China Silk Road also attended, representing the property and tourism sector; legal services; culture and sport sectors from around Scotland.

On day one, a city orientation tour was arranged by the ESCE platform, where delegates enjoyed busy programme of company visits which included Ergeng, I Carbon, Moreline, Merchiston Castle School, Decent, DJI and Silkroad.

China, a strong target market for the creative and technology sectors

Day two saw the opening day of the China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) 2019. The CHTF brings businesses and talent from across China together to showcase their cutting-edge products which ranged from robotics to big data and facial recognition technology – among many others. Based at the Britain Pavilion, Scottish delegates attended the Fair, which was of particular interest to Colin Nesbit, Director of AM PM Properties Ltd, a property sourcing company who focus on investment and serviced accommodation. On the bilateral trade opportunities uncovered during the Fair, Colin said: “Suang has developed two prototype ‘pod’ accommodation units (…) we are looking forward to discussing potential collaborative options on how to take these to the UK market (…).”

China-UK connections: the B-2-B, core activity of the trade mission

Later in the week, the delegation had the opportunity to discover the F518 Idealand incubator located in the area of Bao’an, in the West end of the city. Business delegates presented to an audience of more than 80 attendees and a guest panel, including the Shenzhen Creative Exchange Investments, Edinburgh Global, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Culture, Radio, Television Tourism and Sports Bureau of Bao’an District in Shenzhen city. The afternoon saw Scottish delegates kick off their B2Bs meeting sessions. B2B meetings represent the key activity for both the inward and outward trade missions in the frame of the International Trade Partnership 2 (ITP2) managed by Scottish Chambers of Commerce and funded by the Scottish Government until 2022.

The importance of effective meetings
Throughout the week, Scottish businesses were in contact with a number of companies they visited during the mission, and had the opportunity to meet again on the final day to further explore areas of collaboration. The early connections made during this mission have been very promising for the future, as HeeHaw and Freak Films already plan to return to
Shenzhen early 2020. “It was a truly inspirational trip and I am very excited to see where the Edinburgh-Shenzhen connections lead.” said Heather Heys, Dentons. This mission was the latest step in a burgeoning relationship between the two cities, which goes back to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 and a visit to Edinburgh by Shenzhen leaders in 2017. The Edinburgh Chamber looks forward to connecting many more local businesses to international markets, with trade missions to Dublin, Munich, Philadelphia and Dubai planned for 2020. These are economies that have matched, or in some cases surpassed, Edinburgh’s development in recent years and a great deal of benefit in connecting our businesses to suppliers and customers in those markets.

Upcoming trade missions

  • Dublin, Ireland – 4th & 5th March 2020
  • Philadelphia, USA – 21st to 26th March 2020
  • Shenzhen – 3rd week of May 2020 (TBC)
  • Munich, Germany – April or May 2020
  • Dubai, UAE – November 2020 (TBC)
  • Shenzhen, china – November 2020

For more information, please contact
Lola Nicolas – lola.nicolas@edinburghchamber.co.uk

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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