UK Trade & Investment is recruiting 30 or more design groups to create a taskforce for China. This move has been prompted by ‘a complete lack of awareness of British design’ among the Chinese, says Christine Losecaat, creative industries advisor to Government body Design Partners, which is collaborating with UK Trade & Investment on the initiative.
The aim of the initiative, dubbed China Design Strategy, is to build relationships between UK consultancies and Chinese clients through a series of events here and in China. The strategy will create a network to facilitate joint pitching and sharing of agents in China.
Participating groups will be obliged to take part in one China-based event a year at their own expense, and four UK-based events for Chinese clients looking to promote their brands abroad.
Design Partners chairman Andrew Summers says that Chinese business culture is built on relationships that are formed at the first meeting. Chinese clients have no allegiance to the UK, he adds, and are currently more likely to call on consultancies in South Korea, Japan and Germany.
Losecaat and Summers are trawling for consultancies working in specific sectors, including leisure and financial services. They will need to show they have ‘an international capability’, Losecaat says.