A new partnership has been launched aimed at helping Welsh businesses establish a foothold in Chinese markets.

The South Wales Chamber of Commerce and China-Britain Business Council announced the initiative, which will see CBBC use the chamber’s office in Newport as a base in Wales, giving Welsh businesses a direct link with China in the hope of boosting exports to the country.

It will see the two organisations establish a programme of events, surgeries and workshops aimed at helping businesses market themselves in the lucrative Republic, which is the world’s most populous country.

Graham Morgan, director of the chamber, said: “This is a huge announcement for us as it means that our members now have a direct link in to China. The Chinese market represents a largely untapped resource for businesses here in Wales, so we are delighted to launch this partnership with the CBBC to help provide our businesses with the support they need to access this vast market.”

Statistics last week showed that the value of Welsh exports increased by £1.5bn (11 per cent) over the past year, and the Welsh Government has signalled China as one of its target areas to continue to grow exports. Last year, it led two trade missions to China, including the cities of Chongqing, Chengdu and Shanghai as part of a multi-sector trade mission.

The Welsh Government also has agreements with the Municipal Governments of Beijing and Chongqing, which commits the governments to work together in a number of sectors, while it has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing aimed at promoting trade with Wales.

Mr Morgan said: “As the economic recovery continues to gather momentum and businesses gain in confidence, more and more are considering overseas markets as a way to maximise their growth potential.

“The chamber has long-championed the need for our businesses to explore opportunities in continental Europe and the BRIC countries, and this partnership with CBBC is a further commitment to providing our members with the support structure that can help them showcase their products or services to a new audience.

“As part of this, we are going to work together to launch a programme of events that will help give businesses practical advice and support on entering the Chinese market, so look out for that in the coming months.”

Stephen Phillips, chief executive of the China-British Business Council, said: “We’re going to be working closely with the chamber to help Welsh businesses to demystify and seize the opportunity in what can be a very challenging marketplace.

“China is changing every day and at an extremely fast pace. Consumer tastes are becoming more complex and, while there are challenges, there are also huge opportunities for businesses, including in the food and drink sector and creative industries. We have a network of 13 offices across China and will be working hard to ensure that Welsh businesses have the best possible chance of tapping into these opportunities.”

The China-Britain Business Council is the leading organisation helping UK companies grow and develop their business with China.

For more information visit www.cbbc.org.