A Gateshead-based manufacturer of specialist grinding equipment is one of the first companies in the region to sign up to a new venture aimed at helping local SMEs exploit growth opportunities in China.
International Innovative Technologies Ltd (IIT) is linking up with the dedicated new Fast Track China export service that has been set up to help North East exporters successfully win new business in the country.
The specialist Newcastle-based venture has been established by Dr Zhengming Yang, former UK Trade & Investment (North East) business development manager for the China market.
It is supported in China by national and regional Government organisations and is designed to help SME manufacturers overcome the typical cultural, language and financial exchange difficulties that often make it difficult to enter Chinese markets.
IIT has recently secured orders in China for its patented milling and particle sizing technology to be used in new ceramic tile manufacturing plants in Zibo. Other deals are in the pipeline and in the meantime the link up with Fast Track China is designed to raise the profile of the company’s technology in other parts of the country and provide dedicated export sales support and advice.
Tom Wilkinson, chairman of IIT, said: “The opportunities for our grinding technology in China are potentially enormous and it undoubtedly represents our largest target market.
“Although we’ve already had some success there, it is notoriously difficult to overcome some of the barriers to entry and it is for this reason that we’ve signed up with the new service.
“The partnership with Fast Track China will give us a permanent presence and representation in the country, will provide a high-profile display of our products and technical capabilities and identify realistic new sales opportunities.”
The Fast Track China service is working with regional authorities in China to establish a Zhengzhou-based ’Made in UK’ exhibition and sales centre that will be devoted to UK product promotions, workshops and training.
Plans for the first Made in UK centre are well established and work on the next two is progressing.
The Fast Track team in China will also provide sales and marketing support, carry out patent and trade mark registrations and establish product storage and warehousing arrangements among a wide range of other services for member companies.
Dr Zhengming Yang, managing director of Fast Track China (UK) Ltd, explained: “We are delighted to be working with IIT and their success in the market gives them the ideal platform on which to build further sales.
“China’s economic transformation is one of the defining facts of our lifetime. UK-manufactured products and technology hold a high reputation in the country and it has the potential to provide a vital export market for North East SMEs over the next decade.
“However, financial controls and other factors mean gaining access can be complicated and other barriers to entry can be both time-consuming and costly.
“This is where our specialist expertise, knowledge and partners in China can help local firms and pave the way for the successful development of the massive opportunities available to them.”