Working with China

China has become a global economic powerhouse and by 2025 is set to become the world’s number one economic superpower. It is an important trading partner for the UK, with over £100 billion in bilateral trade taking place in 2019. China is a key priority market for West Yorkshire and many of our international businesses.

The China Market Opportunity

  • Total trade is £107 billion. This places China as the UK’s fourth largest trading partner.
  • China’s nominal GDP is around £15.5 trillion.
  • 845 Chinese companies employ 61,000 people in the UK.
  • 10,800 UK businesses sell to China
  • There are over 150,000 Chinese students in the UK.
  • Since 2013 to the present trade has grown from £50 billion to £107 billion today. Likewise, investment more than doubled in this period from £4.6 billion to £10.7 billion.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, relationships with key international partners are even more important. There is strong political support in both the UK and China to build greater trade and investment links between the two nations.

In 2019, the UK and China reiterated their commitment to the ‘Golden Era’ in UK-China relations, agreeing to work closely together on strengthening their respective economies, to achieve the shared ambition of strong, sustainable and inclusive global growth, and to bolster openness and free trade.

With strong support from our Leaders, West Yorkshire is committed to developing stronger links with China and driving forward international trade and investment initiatives which are essential to the prosperity of the North.

China presents an opportunity for West Yorkshire because of:

  • The scale of the opportunity
  • The extensive partnerships between China and West Yorkshire, including university partnerships and sister city relationships
  • The natural fit between West Yorkshire sector strengths and China’s key focus areas for economic development
  • The extensive network of alumni who are connected with West Yorkshire

Get in touch for advice or support

For more information on how we are building relationships with China, please contact us below.

  1. Outbound activity

    West Yorkshire has undertaken a highly ambitious programme of activity to develop new partnerships with key regions in China.

    Read more about Outbound activity
  2. Inbound activity

    We are proud to host key business and Government from our partner Chinese cities. We have welcomed numerous delegations, including the Chinese Olympic team.

    Read more about Inbound activity
  3. Trade with China

    Bilateral trade between the UK and China is over £100 billion. With the increasing number of Chinese middle classes, the retail market both online and offline is expanding exponentially, presenting a significant opportunity for West Yorkshire businesses looking to enter new markets.

    Read more about Trade with China
  4. Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is regarded as the gateway to South-East Asia, but is also a significant market in its own right. It is an important part of the larger Greater Bay Area, which includes key cities across Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China.

    Read more about Hong Kong
  5. China publications

    If you are preparing to do business with China, here are some of the most useful reports, videos, and downloadable information.

    Read more about China publications