THE economy secretary will be in China this week to strengthen trade links.

Ken Skates AM will be in Hong Kong and Shanghai this week, strengthening trade links with China and promoting Wales as a “great place to live, visit and do business”.

He is joined by 25 Welsh companies and organisations including Aircovers in Wrexham, Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits in Brecon and Teddington Engineered Solutions in Llanelli, which are part of the largest Welsh trade delegations to travel to China for 10 years.

Mr Skates said: “I am pleased to be visiting Shanghai and Hong Kong to build on our already strong links with a country that boasts one of the strongest economies in the world.

“Along with a strong trade delegation, I will be extolling Wales’ virtues as a first class trading partner.

“Our new Economic Action Plan is clear about our commitment to prioritising exports and trade, and to helping businesses retain their existing trading partners while supporting them to branch out into other global markets.

“And with Welsh exports to China having grown significantly from nearly £194m in 2012 to nearly £313m in 2017 there is no doubt that it is a hugely significant market and one that has much to offer our exporters.

“This is a challenging time and one when we are all seeking to navigate the opportunities, challenges and complexities of Brexit.

“Now more than ever it is important that we reach out to China and our other international partners to build a stronger and fairer economy for all. This week’s visit is part of our ongoing and multi-faceted work to achieve this.”