Somerset firm helps to create trade deal with China to support SW innovators

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A SOMERSET company has signed a trade deal with China boosting the South West’s links with the country and helping Westcountry/UK innovators create, develop and sell their products worldwide (September 2020).

Bridgwater-based Aspen Waite China UK (AWCUK) plus two other South West UK partners recently agreed a strategic partnership with Academe Enterprise from China to provide an international business growth service.

Darren Horne, CEO of AWCUK, said: “Our partnership with Academe Enterprise, The South West China Alliance and South West Business Council (SWBC), is endorsed by the regional Bureaux of Commerce and Development Zones across China and supported in the UK by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Lord Robin Teverson in the House of Lords. This agreement between us and our partners will provide those with innovative products access to an international business growth facility.

“Our new initiative supports the export of UK innovation and educational standards and is focused on the key sectors of med-tech and life sciences, IT, low carbon and manufacturing.

“We see this as an opportunity to expand our existing specialist R&D and incubation provision for innovators, supporting them further with greater opportunities to capitalise on the global market.

“China’s economic development strategy partly relies on manufacturing partnerships with UK innovators to meet its own growth and export targets. Chinese companies are prepared to invest into key sectors to achieve these export targets.

“This is exactly the sort of assistance our clients deserve to have and we hope anyone out there who has disruptive innovation and, is willing to work with Chinese partners, gets in touch for a chat, and to find out how we and our Chinese colleagues and counterparts can help. This partnership will give UK innovators exposure to more than 140 incubation bases, science and technology parks throughout China.”

Operations Manager at AWCUK, Clare Wiltshire explained: “Our Chinese partners hold capability to incubate and expose UK innovation to global opportunities by way of manufacturing partnerships and investments. We’re able to help innovators who may previously have thought about the potential of the Chinese market but who have been unsure how to move things forward. Come to us and feel confident. We can help you take that next step.

“The current situation with the British economy in recession and the potential impacts to come from Brexit, China is a key trading partner for anyone in business in the UK who wishes to develop a product and to export it.

“Our unique deal offers innovators, manufacturers and investors from both China and the UK the chance to meet with a better understanding of each other’s cultures. It will also bring the two countries more closely together than ever before, as natural trading partners, and as global citizens.”

AWCUK is a UK company that has very close links with China, with offices in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in most regions of the UK, including its head offices in Bridgwater, Somerset.

It has a history of developing new sectors of cooperation, strategic partnerships for public and private sector, and overcoming difficulties created by differences in regulations, as well as social and business cultural differences.

Jamie Shaw, China Market Business Adviser, UK Sector Lead – Healthcare & Life Sciences at CBBC, said: “China is one of the largest global economies and presents a sustainable growth market for the export of UK innovation, goods and services. In 2019, British goods exported to China reached a record-breaking £26.4 billion according to the Office of National Statistics, marking annual growth of 27.5%. Imports increased by 9% to £46.9 billion.

“Growth in bilateral trade has further solidified China’s position as one of the UK’s key trading partners. It is now the second largest source of British imports and the third largest destination for UK products.”

Assisting AWCUK with this initiative is SWBC, which is the economic partnership for the South West of the UK.

Chris Marrow, SWBC Advisory Board Member, says: “We shine a spotlight on our regional capabilities that are ahead of the field nationally and around the world. We focus on delivering and enabling insight, innovation and impact for every business across the South West.

“Our partnership with AWCUK is very exciting as it will help open more doors in China for SW innovators who have fantastic new products to showcase.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about AWCUK, should visit  If you are an innovator wishing to find out more about opportunities in China, please register your interest and find out more here For further details of CBBC, please visit​.