Two Yorkshire entrepreneurs have set up a venture to help companies in the region import and export to China.
Richard Ward, originally from Halifax and now based in China, and Bridget Pearson, based in Barnsley, have joined forces to offer Yorkshire companies expert advice and support.
Bridget runs her own cultural liaison and interpretation consultancy, Your Bridge to China, which supports business people who want to sell into China, and Richard is managing director of Banfa International Trading, which supports companies sourcing goods from the Far East.
The two Mandarin-speaking business consultants are now collaborating to offer a comprehensive two-way import and export advice service.
“We want to help UK companies, particularly in the Yorkshire area, to safely import from and export to China.
“Our aim is to help strengthen links and build trust, understanding and co-operation.”
“I came across Richard on LinkedIn when I was dealing with a specific enquiry from one of my clients, and we’ve developed our partnership from there.
“We work together well and both know Yorkshire as well as China – Chinese people are very friendly, open and approachable so there’s a lot of common ground with Yorkshire folk.”
Latest government statistics show that, in the last ten years, UK exports to China have quadrupled to £12.5 billion.
“Yorkshire’s exports within that figure amounted to £200 million and imports from China into Yorkshire were £2 billion.
“Doing business with China is priority growth area for the UK and we can help make that a reality for individual companies.
“It’s our mission to help bridge cultural and language gaps and support the development of profitable two-way business relationships.
“Richard works in China going direct to factories securing the best deals for UK clients sourcing goods from China; while I work with companies here giving them the confidence to explore selling their products in to the fast-growing Chinese economy.”
Richard has spent five years in China and his business, Banfa International Trading, is based in the city of Guangzhou in the south. From here he is well-placed to iron out any issues between a UK customer and a Chinese supplier.
Bridget, who set up Your Bridge to China a year ago, offers a wide range of specialist business support services designed to help companies overcome any cultural and language barriers to trade.
She recently supported Barnsley-based scone producers Haywood and Padgett who went to a trade fair in China, which has led to export enquiries from Chinese hotels and caterers.