Nine businesses from Sheffield have travelled to China to help cement relationships between the two countries.

Sheffield China 88 is an export acceleration programme developed by the city growth department of Sheffield City Council. The nine digital, food and drink and engineering businesses are in China to meet potential customers.

This multi-sector trade delegation includes manufacturers, companies in the digital and creative sectors as well as some very exciting food and drink brands in Sheffield.

The delegates are Appt, Uniplex, Somi Trailers, Tinsley Bridge, Pura Panela, Mak Tok, Nova Porta, Palego Travel and GP Express.

This trade delegation 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.

Edward Highfield, director of city growth at Sheffield City Council, 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”

Pauline Dawes, from Somi Trailers, said: “The trade mission is an ideal vehicle to expand into China. There are so many possibilities for businesses like SOMI and Tinsley Bridge with advanced manufacturing at the top of the list for exports to China.”

In this trade mission, there is also a strong representation in the food and drink sector.

William Chew, managing director of Mak Tok, a Sheffield-made Malaysian cooking sauce 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.

Stuart Gillis from Nova Porta said, ‘We are currently working with clients in Sheffield to identify distributors in China. Taking part in the Sheffield China 88 trade mission to China allows us to visit several regions and have meetings organised to maximise our time in China, visiting Beijing, Zhengzhou, Tianjin and Kunming over the coming days. China has a huge market and our business is all about working as a connector between our clients and China.”

The Sheffield China 88 programme provides business support and business contacts in China identified by our programme partner cities in China. The aim of the programme is to alleviate any barriers to export for Sheffield companies with products or services that are in high demand in China.

China 88 is a Sheffield City Council programme developed to help Sheffield businesses break into the Chinese market.

88 is a lucky number in China and the programme aims to work with 88 Sheffield businesses building on Sheffield City Council’s well established networks in China.  All the businesses on the trip have funded their own travel and visas with some assistance from the Bank of China for hotel accommodation for the Zhengzhou leg of the trade mission.  Sheffield City Council have only paid for the China 88 Project Manager’s travel, visas and accommodation.