Forum Programme

The programme for the 7th SME China Forum is under development. Please see the outline below. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact Alex Makino-Farrell.

The SME Forum 2019 Programme

09:00 – 09:30      
Registration & refreshments
0930 – 1000 Opening Plenary
  • Matthew Rous, Chief Executive, China-Britain Business Council​
  • Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester
  • TBC
1000 – 1100 Panel discussion 1         
  Session 1: ‘Cracking China’s Changing Consumer Market​’     
The Chinese consumer is changing. According to a recent report from McKinsey, as the consumer profile gets younger they are becoming more appreciative of quality design and style, and are more open to niche brands. Consider that, for example, by 2025 40% of global spend on luxury is set to come from Chinese consumers, revenue in gaming has increased tenfold in the decade 2008-2017, and the value of imported food and drink products up 25% in 2017, this is an opportunity that no consumer facing brand can ignore. With consumer spending on goods and services now the driving force of growth in the Chinese economy, and China’s online landscape now influencing the way Western tech companies are developing their products, the Chinese consumer economy promises to be a key global story for many years to come.
During this panel you will hear from UK SMEs who are active in this market, each with their own stories, success and challenges. We’ll be exploring:
- How these companies entered the market and their advice for UK SMEs
- What changes the companies have made to their products or ways of working to be more successful in China
- What the companies are doing to adapt alongside the Chinese market
- Mistakes made by the companies, and how to avoid them

Moderator: Jack Porteous, UK Retail Sector Lead, CBBC

- Ed Salt, Managing Director, Delamere Dairy
- Melanie Allan, Chief Commercial Officer for China, Silver Cross
- Craig Butler, CEO and Co-founder, The Baijiu Society
1100 – 1130 Coffee/networking
1130 – 1230 Panel discussion 2     
  Session 2: ‘Been there, done that - SME insight on B2B business in China’
After several decades of rapid growth, China is implementing an ambitious and comprehensive domestic reform agenda that impacts on healthcare, manufacturing and sustainability amongst many other sectors. This is creating demand for innovation, creativity, education and technology: needs that map directly to UK strengths. This coupled with renewed support for the ‘Golden Era’ of UK-China relations and an agreement to boost bilateral trade and there has never been a better time to consider doing business with China.
China is a challenging market for exporters and there are definite do’s and don’ts to be mindful of. For example. the sheer scale of the country and variation across Provinces can present difficulties. Evolving legislation means that the regulatory landscape can change quickly. However, it needn’t be a daunting prospect. Join us as our panel of SMEs share their experiences of B2B market entry. We will be exploring what opportunities exist for SMEs and unpacking what it takes to navigate China successfully.
Topics to include: partner selection and relationship building, due diligence, top tips for success, the types of support available for SMEs and more.  

Moderator: Stewart Ferguson, Advanced Engineering, Manufacturing & Transport lead, CBBC
- Russell Livesey, Managing Director, Colloids
- Hui-Chi Yeh, Director, The Phoenix Partnership
1230 – 1315 Lunch/networking
Afternoon Keynote
‘New Retail: Reshaping the future of commerce in China’
Jack Peters,  Business Development Director, Alibaba Group
1330 – 1525 ‘China Gateway’ presentations One-to-One Meetings
  Essential information you need to know in order to succeed in China.  Hear practical guidance straight from the experts, with clear take-aways that will help your organisation.
CBBC Masterclass series
  • Our acclaimed masterclass series has been developed to provide in-depth advice and guidance and learn practical skills that can make doing business in China more successful.  
    • Learn about understanding trade opportunities and how best to enter the market
    • Practical issues of doing business including protecting your IP, how to setup a Chinese entity and receive payment.
    • Learn about China's digital landscape including selling B2B
    • How to ship physical goods to China and ensure compliance at the border

Seek advice on all your China business issues with fast, confidential, 1-2-1 clinics from a range of China business experts.
Participants to be announced, including:

1525 – 1530 Close