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Welsh delegation looks to cement links with China

By Bo Leung in London | | Updated: 2017-02-22 23:39

Welsh businesses, from music to breweries to medical technology are hoping to make it big in China during a high-profile trade mission to tap into the country’s lucrative market.

Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates and several businesses are visiting Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong as part of work to strengthen Welsh and Chinese ties in hopes it will lead to new partnerships, learning opportunities and new exchanges of exhibitions and performers.

Manufacturing company AmniTec, craft brewery Tiny Rebel and BBC National Orchestra Wales are among some the companies hoping to expand into the world’s second largest economy.

Moussa Clarke, export manager for Tiny Rebel Brewing Company said: “As well as being commercial gateways into the Chinese mainland, both cities are huge markets in their own right, and an increasingly important destination for high quality British goods. Shanghai and Hong Kong have their own vibrant domestic beer scenes - China has been brewing the stuff for 9,000 years after all - with an ongoing surge in both locally and internationally produced craft beer.”

The Economy Secretary will hold talks with Chinese companies and local government representatives to promote Wales.

Skates said, “There are currently 19 Chinese companies based in Wales, between them employing more than 2,500 people and latest figures put annual Welsh exports to China at nearly 209 million pounds ($260 million).”

“Wales has a huge amount to offer as a trading partner, a tourist destination and cultural partner,” Skates added, “Following the decision to leave the EU it is more important than ever that we reach out to China and other international partners and continue to work to build a stronger and fairer Welsh economy for all.”

Michael Garvey, director of BBC National Orchestra of Wales said the trade mission is an important step for BBC National Orchestra of Wales in “solidifying international relations and exploring future opportunities to work with arts organizations in China”.

“As the national orchestra of Wales, we’re looking at the very best opportunities to showcase the artistic excellence of our musicians and Wales’ rich musical heritage on an international platform.” He said, “With our newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor, Zhang Xian, we have an even stronger connection to this part of the world and would like to develop and enhance this cultural exchange.”

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