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With just two weeks left until the application deadline, North West companies are encouraged to enter the 9th annual UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Greater China Awards to earn recognition for their achievements in this exciting market.

Entries must be received by Wednesday 5 February, and the winners will be announced on Friday 21 February at The Lowry, Salford Quays at a celebratory dinner to welcome in the Year of the Horse.

The awards honour any company or organisation in the North West which has made a significant contribution to developing business or relationships with mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong during 2013, including bi-lateral trade or investment and education and community links.

The standard of entries for the competition is expected to be high, and one winner and one runner up will be chosen for each of the following three categories –

  • the China Business Award, for companies which have had links with Greater China for more than three years,
  • the China Rising Star award – for companies relatively new to the market, which have had links with the region for less than three years, and
  • the China Education Links Award for Universities, Higher Education Institutes and businesses offering training and education links to Greater China.

Judges will be looking for evidence of a direct link between Greater China and North West England, as well as measuring each entrant’s approach and the impact of its China strategy on the overall success of the business or organisation.

The day begins with an afternoon seminar China Bites with a panel of business experts.  This is open to all businesses with an interest in China and will include a wealth of information on selling, buying and partnering in Greater China.

The seminar will be followed in the evening by a networking reception, the Greater China Awards Ceremony and Chinese New Year celebratory dinner.  The winners will receive international flight tickets, courtesy of sponsors Finnair.  The event is also sponsored by HSBC and the Klako Group.

2013 winners included China Business Award champion High Voltage Partial Discharge (HPVD) from Salford.  The company, which provides online testing of medium and high voltage insulation, saw sales to China grow by 225% over two years.

The 2013 China Rising Star Award went to Manchester advertising agency Love Creative, which opened a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) in Shanghai in 2012, and the China Education Links Award went to Lancaster University.

Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UKTI says;

“Last year’s winners came from across a wide range of sectors, from a business making cleaning fluids to an architect firm, and from a company advertising whisky to an advanced manufacturing business.

“No matter what sector, we are looking for companies who have shown outstanding commitment to forging links with Greater China, and have demonstrated a positive and determined approach combined with sound business strategy in order to develop relationships within the region.

“Greater China continues to be of major importance on the global stage and we are sure that our winning companies will be able to enjoy long term rewards and success in return for the time they have invested in furthering their business interests there.”

Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director of UKTI, adds;

“Most businesses are aware of the huge potential offered in Greater China but it takes effort and dedication to do business there, as the nominations we have received so far prove.

“These awards offer a fantastic opportunity to recognise those businesses which have done the most to strengthen the links between the regional economy and that of China and I urge all companies which have worked hard to succeed there to get their nominations in right away.”

Entry forms are available from Philomena Chen, UKTI’s Head of Asia Pacific Development. Contact her via email at [email protected], by telephone on 0161 875 2328 or by fax on 0161 873 2234.

To book a place at the China Event, contact Paul Yuan at [email protected], by telephone on 0161 875 2329 or by fax on 0161 873 2234.

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