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Ulf Landin

Gothenburg heads to Shanghai as China holds first import expo

China is actively opening up its market to the world via its first ever China International Import Expo. For Swedish businesses the move can mean new possibilities for exporting to China. And for Gothenburg, the expo is an opportunity to showcase the region.

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“China is an important market for companies in terms of exports. But we have also noticed that in recent years, many of the businesses establishing here are from China. That’s why it’s important that we take part in the expo and show what Gothenburg has to offer,” says Ulf Landin, head of international relations at Business Region Göteborg and project leader for the Shanghai trip.

Together with four colleagues and ten companies from the region, he is travelling to Shanghai for the expo, which takes place 5-10 November. At the expo the Ulf and his colleagues will man a joint Sweden stand, where partners include Business Sweden and several large companies, including the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars.        

“In particular we will be talking about Gothenburg in terms of smart cities, and transport and logistics,” says Ulf Landin.

“There are a lot people who aren’t aware of what our region can offer. Therefore, we think it is very important that we go out and talk about the region and its opportunities, and the strong collaboration between the business community, universities, the city and our three science parks.”

Business Region Göteborg also has several speakers at a seminar arranged by the Swedish Embassy and the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai. Among other things, Ulf Landin will speak on the relations between Gothenburg and Shanghai; Andreas Göthberg, head of FDI, will talk about investment opportunities in the Gothenburg region; and Maria Strömberg, director of clusters and innovation, will talk about the region’s strong clusters and how the region works with developing innovation and testbeds.

“One of the other speakers is Gang Wei who will share his experience of establishing a company in Sweden. Wei was previously the deputy CEO at CEVT and is now responsible for Geely’s new innovation centre at Lindholmen in Gothenburg. Geely is also the owner of Volvo Cars,” says Ulf Lundin.

Companies benefit from sister city partnership

China is an important market for many Swedish companies. In Shanghai, where Gothenburg has had sister city relations since 1986, there are around 250 Swedish companies that have set up operations. According to the organisers, in the next five years China is expecting to import products and services worth more than 10 trillion US dollars. 

“Doing business and gaining collaboration partners in China, without first building good relations is difficult. Networks and contacts are extremely important and the sister city relationship is very positive for companies and organisations that want to export, and even for investments to and from China,” says Ulf Landin.

10 companies part of the delegation

In connection with the Shanghai expo, Business Region Göteborg has co-arranged a delegation trip where around 10 West Swedish companies from the architecture, design, crafts and fashion sector are taking part. Here the companies will have the opportunity to strengthen their market position and learn more about the Chinese market and business culture. The participating companies will visit the expo, take part in b2b matchmaking and meet relevant companies and trade associations. This is arranged in collaboration with Region Västra Götaland and the Export Centre Västra Götaland.

The China International Import Expo takes place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center i Shanghai, 5-10 November. Business Region Göteborg will be represented by Bernt Svensén, project for the development of exports; Rasmus Heyman, manager cultural and creative industries, Andreas Göthberg, Maria Strömberg and Ulf Landin.

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