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A Guide to doing Business in China 1 - The Basic Research

With the global economic status in turmoil you're probably just trying to ensure your business doesn't become another victim of the recession. Major companies having to make cutbacks are dominating headline news on a daily basis. But what if your business is doing OK? Well then you're going to want to make sure it stays that way right? While planes for major expansion may not be the most sensible route for most companies you will have to do something proactive to ensure your business stays healthy. Have you ever thought about doing business in China?

As China's prominence on the world stage increases it really is a market that any company in the UK that has in international outlook cannot fail to consider. There is increasing demand in China for UK products and services and this stems across all sectors. If you have a good product or service then you could do well in China.

So how does a British company enter the Chinese market? The simple answer is to get well prepared before hand, the time that is spent on effective and thorough research is time very well spent and once a company has done that they're in a much better position to be able to move onto the next step which would ideally be to pay a visit to China to set up some meetings and take things onto the next stage.

You can utilize a number of channels to help you find the right partner or supplier in China, such as looking at internet resources (typing in a phrase like 'how to set up a business in China' or 'setting up a business in China' into a search engine would give you a list of websites), news reports or B2B websites which are extremely useful as a starting point. You can also contact trade facilitators and intermediaries such as trade councils or UK Trade and Investment. You can also visit the market that's part of the trade group. Once you've identified a list of potential suppliers or partners you need to develop ongoing dialog as well as trade relationships. This all needs to be done with due diligence, often the high level questions and information are easy to answer such as company size and employee numbers or a particular location of the company. The more in depth information can be difficult to access and is usually done through investigation using local knowledge and local partners to do that.

It's not just the right people you're going to need to find but the right location too. The location of a partner of supplier is normally dependant on the focus and objective of the buyer in the UK. Usually you would find a cluster of concentrated Chinese companies operating in the same sector, usually concentrating in a geographic location, this is particularly beneficial if a company wanted to start up targeting a particular location to begin with.

There are a number of ways in which British companies can get support for developing their business in China and overseas, the best way to find out more about that is to contact your local international trade advisor at UK trade and investment and they can provide all the details.

About the Author:

The China Britain Business Council is the UK's leading organisation helping British companies do business in China. In these exclusive sets from GuruOnline, several of their senior staff offer free business advice to anyone thinking of doing business in China. Their sets cover everything from where to find the help you'll need through to the technical aspects of running your China office. www.guruonline.tv/cbbc-faq-business-with-china

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