26 August 2008 | Paul Snell
UK firms should look beyond well-known and established cities when doing business in China.
Initial research carried out by the China-Britain Business Council and the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds identified 35 out of China's 274 cities with a population of more than a million as attractive locations for UK business.
These cities are experiencing rapid growth, have a low cost base, local government support and feature a large and developing industrial and consumer market.
"Historically UK companies looking to expand in China have focussed on a small number of larger cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen and Guangzhou," said Lord Digby Jones, minister for trade and investment.
"In the larger coastal cities, markets are maturing, competition is intensifying and factor input costs are increasing. Cities outside of the 'hot spots' offer some of the best overall business environments for UK companies to consider."
A full list of the 35 cities is available at http://tinyurl.com/5fylaq
Exports from the UK to China increased 44 per cent to more than £2 billion between January and May this year, compared with the same period in 2007. Imports from China to the UK increased 10 per cent to £7.8 billion.
Full results of the research will be published this Autumn.