Carwyn Jones, the Welsh First Minister, invited the Chinese Ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, for talks last week on how to boost trade and business links between China and Wales.
Mr Jones said the meeting was an opportunity to engage in a discussion about the mutual interests of both countries. Two weeks ago, Mr Jones went to Turkey to pursue leads on trade and strengthen Wales’ appearance abroad. He said that deals pursued in such emerging economies could benefit the Welsh economy.
In late January, Carwyn Jones encouraged Irish companies to invest in Wales in a speech given to business leader in Dublin. He explained that Ireland was “crucial” to the Welsh economy as estimations show Ireland is Wales’ second biggest export market worth £1.5bn.
“We’ve got to go there to sell ourselves to the world. They won’t come to us. David Cameron and Alex Salmond do it all the time. It is important that we do it, we’ve got to make sure that Wales’ name is known around the world,” said Carwyn Jones.
“You ask me how good am I? Well I leave it to (the people to) judge, but we went to India and we came back with £800,000,000. It’s a good start,” he added.
Jane Bryan, of the Welsh Economy Research Unit at Cardiff Business School, explained that building export businesses is a “lengthy and risky” process. She said: “Distributor relationships have to be built up and often the first step in this is by exhibiting at trade shows. There is a lot of competition to attract inward investment so Wales has to communicate a strong message that it is ‘open for business’.
“Wales can also offer benefits to multinational enterprises. Wales should expect many benefits, we were offered new jobs, but we should not forget about the skills and technology transfers.” Ms Bryan added.
The Welsh Government’s budget decisions also support the investment in helping small Welsh companies to export or develop working relationships abroad. A Cardiff-based IT company, Rantmedia, was one of the companies which represented Wales in San Francisco along with the First Minister this week to discuss future investments.
Rantmedia’s latest application was featured by the international App Store, which statistics showing that more than 90% of the application’s revenue was generated abroad.