Colloids, a Liverpool-based distributor of concentrates for thermoplastics, scooped the overall Greater China Business Award for its consistent growth in the Chinese market. The firm, which established its own manufacturing facilities in China four years ago, expects to grow its exports to £5.9 million by the end of 2018. The accolade was one of four presented at the awards dinner, which is now in its 13th year, hosted at the Lowry events centre in Salford Quays.
Manchester architecture firm AFL Architects was named the Rising Star of 2018. The business, which specialises in sports stadia, is working with Chinese architects as the country experiences a boom in football stadia development. AFL is currently designing a new sports village, including two stadiums and accommodation, in Kunming, Yunnan province.
Meanwhile Intern China, a provider of internships, based in Manchester, won the award for Best Education Links, praised by judges for its excellent business model and demonstrable success – it follows the business being shortlisted as a runner up in the category last year.
The winners each received a business class return flight to China courtesy of Cathay Pacific.
A special award was presented to Gerry Yeung OBE DL. He received The Recognition Award, for his work in supporting commercial, educational, charitable and cultural links between the North West and China.
The Greater China Awards celebrates organisations in North West of England that have made a significant contribution to developing business, innovating or building collaborative partnerships with firms based in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan.
The awards are run in conjunction with the Exporting is GREAT campaign, a UK Government initiative to inspire and support firms up and down the country to export.
The evening was hosted by Marian Sudbury, Director, Exports & Investment, Northern Powerhouse, DIT. An afternoon seminar on how to sell to, buy from and partner with Greater China firms was hosted by Paul Stowers, Acting Regional Director for the North West at DIT.
Paul said: “Last year, North West firms exported more than £1.3bn worth of goods to China. The organisations we’ve honoured at the awards dinner are setting an excellent example to other firms in the region, if they can succeed and develop opportunities in China, so can many others!
“The region has better connectivity with China than ever before, bolstered by direct flights via Manchester Airport. But entering foreign markets is not without its challenges, which is why it’s important for firms to seek advice in order to get the best out of doing business in the Far East. We have International Trade Advisers across the North West dedicated to helping firms along the way.”