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UK brands expo aims to boost bilateral trade

By He Qi in Shanghai | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-10-10 08:22

The third edition of Best of the British exhibition, an event that aims to boost trade between China and the UK, will be held from Oct 17 to 20 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

Themed "Power of the UK", the event will feature more than 300 brands spread across six sections, including food and drink, fashion and style, interiors and design, innovation and technology, education and British lifestyle, and leisure and tourism. According to the organizers, about half of the brands present are new to the Chinese market.

"Chinese consumers are having more demands on life quality and brands. Their pursuit for high-end consumer goods is getting more intense," said Rob Nathan, Global Director of Media 10 Star, the organizer of the exhibition.

"To answer such demands, Best of British brings top British brands to the Chinese market where local consumers embrace new opportunities and pursue a high-quality life experience they deserve," Nathan added.

Apart from exhibiting leading lifestyle brands, the exhibition will also offer interactive experience zones such as British Fashion Catwalk, Taste of Britain Theatre, the Plough Pub and the Royal Jewelry Museum. Hundreds of activities, including performances and fashion catwalk shows, will be held during the event. The exhibition will also be joining hands with the China-Britain Business Council to launch the Lifestyle Innovation Awards program to celebrate the innovative spirit of British brands.

"The UK has a long-term partnership with China in the cultural, creativity and retail industries, as well as in many other areas. Events such as Best of British offer an opportunity for the UK to further our exchanges and bring vitality into our bilateral trade with China, and further strengthen our partnership," said Chris Wood, British Consul-General in Shanghai.

According to Wood, China is a key export target for many British brands because of its massive market size and strong consumption.

Trade between China and the UK has been on the rise. In the 12 months up to the end of March this year, bilateral trade in goods and services reached over 70 billion pounds ($85.5 billion), up by about 7 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Wood.

He also highlighted that tourism is another important sector that the UK is looking to strengthen.

"The number of Chinese tourists coming to the UK more than doubled in the past 12 months to September. The number of British tourists to China has increased too," he said.

"We issued 700,000 visas for Chinese to visit the UK, including students and business people. Education is another important sector for us as the number of Chinese students in the UK is also increasing," he added.

Another area that the UK would like to cooperate with China is in renewable energy and environment. Wood noted that the UK's expertise in this area, particularly in offshore wind systems, can help China achieve its goal of reducing its carbon footprint.

"Dealing with plastics is a global issue. Too much plastic waste is getting into the oceans and impacting marine life. We need to find a way to reduce or minimize the waste together," he added.

heqi@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily Global 10/10/2019 page3)

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