LIVERPOOL’S trade links with China and its sister city Shanghai are beginning to pay off, says regeneration agency Liverpool Vision.
Business deals worth more than £6.5m have been signed between city firms and Chinese partners, facilitated by Liverpool’s six month presence at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Two separate independent surveys, commissioned by Liverpool Vision, have found that firms who sponsored the Liverpool delegation have secured sales worth more than £3m in the past 12 months.
The research also shows that businesses now trading with China since Expo have clinched orders worth around £3.5m in the same period.
Other findings from the surveys revealed that 25% of sponsors have appointed staff to work on their behalf in China; 30% have secured sales from China, with 60% of these confirming these were partly attributable to their attendance at Expo.
The research also revealed that Liverpool’s Expo sponsors are confident their work in Chinese markets will help them reap rewards with 50% planning to increase their business activities in China, and nearly 60% expecting to generate sales from future activities.
Also, 50% expect their Chinese activities to account for a greater proportion of overall turnover in the future.
Ailsa Horne, head of international and investment at Liverpool Vision, said: “Liverpool approached Expo with priorities in mind – to raise the profile of the city and to enable sponsors and businesses to forge new relationships and contacts with Chinese businesses and investors.
“Expo may have finished, but building on our successful Chinese adventure continues and these findings show that Liverpool businesses are embracing the opportunities created by our links with our sister city of Shanghai, as well as investigating trade links in other parts of the country.”
She added: “Our messages are still getting out there too.
“Throughout Expo, and since, we have secured huge amounts of media coverage, which is designed not only to document our programmes and successes, but to encourage Liverpool and the region’s businesses to look East for business growth.”
Vision also supports trading links with China through its own dedicated business club, It’s Liverpool In China.
Cllr Nick Small, the city council’s cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, is the driving force behind the initiative.