The Government recently unveiled an advertising and communications campaign to promote the export opportunities that exist to British industry. Some might consider the timing to be odd given that the nation is in the middle of the worst recession in living memory. But a recent UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) conference in London at the beginning of the month proved otherwise.
At UKTI’s ‘Digital Business: India and China’ two day conference which I worked on (Reuters TV news above) small and medium sized technology and communications companies came together to share knowledge on the opportunities that lay in two countries that are bucking the downward global economic trend.
Companies from Britain’s digital, technology, mobile and gaming sectors agreed that while growth in the UK was hard, business opportunities in these two countries gave them hope for the future.
During the second day, which was devoted to China, representatives from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology gave an insight into the help that was available to UK companies thinking of investing in China, a country that is looking to move its economy towards value-adding products and services.
We’ve seen UKTI’s ‘Take It To The World’ campaign message on billboards at stations up and down the country. And companies like Playfish.com are an example of how Britain can take gaming to the world.
But what has this got to do with PR and communications? Well, it was wisely pointed out at the conference that China was not just looking to bring expertise to its home country. Businesses in China are looking to enter the British and European marketplace, thus increasing the need for services such as PR, advertising and the like for them.
And let’s be honest, Britain has usually been concerned about China and it’s new financial muscle. But with the UK PR industry suffering in the current recession the opportunities that might exist from Chinese companies wishing to expand into Europe might help.
Some of the big agencies, such as Burson-Marsteller already serve and support Chinese companies, such as online business-to-business trading company Alibaba.com, which last week announced a 39 per cent increase in revenue to over £300 million.
Agencies are getting ready for business from merging markets. Maybe Brazil will be next. Not a bad place for a business trip me thinks!