Trade delegation aims to build on Sheffield’s links with China

Representatives from nine Sheffield businesses have travelled to China in a bid to held cement relationships between the two countries.

Edward Highfield Head of City Growth at Sheffield City Council
Edward Highfield Head of City Growth at Sheffield City Council

The city’s council China 88 export acceleration programme, which provides business support and business contacts in China to Sheffield firms, organised the trade delegation, which featured companies in the digital, creative and food and drink sectors.

The companies, which include digital agency Appt, medical supplies firm Uniplex, transportation company Somi Trailers, and cooking sauce manufacturers Mak Tok, are taking part in the 13th Henan Cross Border Trade and Investment Event and the Bank of China Global Matchmaking for small and medium sized enterprises, followed by match-making sessions with further Chinese companies in Beijing.

Director of city growth at Sheffield City Council Edward Highfield said: “The strength of this delegation shows the city’s recent focus on trade and investment with China is bearing tangible results for Sheffield businesses.”

Managing director of city centre-based Mak Tok, William Chew, said: “It is fascinating to be meeting so many Chinese companies in one trip. It is a very exciting moment for us to join this trade mission as exporting to China is an important part of our business strategy.”

Pauline Dawes, from Somi Trailers, said: “There are so many possibilities for businesses like SOMI with advanced manufacturing at the top of the list for exports to China.”

China 88 - the name of which derives from 88 being a lucky number in China - aims to work with 88 Sheffield businesses building on Sheffield City Council’s well established networks in the country. Last September, a study into trade between Yorkshire and the Far East showed the city had seen an increase in Chinese investment, thanks to projects like the New Era City Development - a £65m scheme including, student accommodation, commercial units and apartments, off Bramall Lane.