A new partnership involving a Bradford-based international trade body has been forged to beef up help for businesses wanting to export to China.

Chamber International, Bradford and the Leeds office of the China-Britain Business Council are launching the initiative this month to help more Yorkshire businesses take advantage of trade opportunities in China – the world’s second largest economy.

The partnership heralds the start of Chinese lunar year 4712, The Year of The Horse, and will give Chamber International’s clients privileged access to CBBC’s networks.

London-based CBBC, which opened its Leeds office in 2005 as one of nine UK regional bases, suggested the partnership as part of a nationwide drive to get more small and medium firms exporting to China by enabling the organisation to get closer to UK chamber of commerce members.

Giles Blackburne, Leeds-based CBBC director, said: “China is a huge market with major benefits for Yorkshire businesses prepared to make a commitment to this rapidly-developing economy.

“Our new partnership will create a comprehensive framework for more China-related activities such as events, workshops and seminars on topics such as setting up in China or sourcing from China. There will also be greater opportunities for Chamber International clients to contact our specialists for bespoke advice or make appointments for one-to-one, in-depth discussions.

“A world-class product or service speaks volumes in China and, if Chinese customers really want what you have to offer, then they will want to do business with you. CBBC is well placed to facilitate links with China, since we have 13 offices across the country and have been promoting UK-China trade for 60 years. We are able to research the market and make introductions to the right people.

“Even so, businesses have to accept that they are operating in an unfamiliar commercial environment and business culture. This means that your products, services and even the way you present yourself may require some adaptation.

“We’re delighted to work alongside Chamber International which has wide geographical reach in the UK and a strong, diverse client base of exporters, many of which may be able to add a new dimension to their business by exporting to China. The Chinese market is not easy but, with the right advice and support, Yorkshire companies have a greater opportunity to benefit from China’s continuing development.”

Tim Bailey, Chamber International director, added : “CBBC’s mandate is now about helping SMEs which comprise two-thirds of our client base. The organisation is key to making serious headway in China and we are delighted to be able to help them reach out to more businesses through this partnership.”

Chamber International, which also runs the We are International Export Network on behalf of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership, which aims to increase the number of firms trading overseas and boost regional exports by an extra £1.6 billion in the next five years