A visit to China by Falkirk Council representatives is now paying off for local firms looking to cash in on the prosperous far eastern market.
The local authority delegation, which included council leader Craig Martin and Councillor Malcolm Nicol, travelled to the country in May, visiting three cities - Shanghai, Hangzho and Yuequing - in a busy week.
Members of the council’s executive committee heard the visit itself had been a success and would lead to more opportunities in the future.
Councillor Martin said: “At a business conference they were particularly impressed by our passion and what Falkirk had to offer the international business community.
“It wasn’t just about business, it was about education and community. The whole trip was well worth it and we gave a great impression of what is available here in Falkirk.”
Councillor Nicol said the Chinese consumers spent the majority of their time shopping online.
He said: “China will soon overtake the USA as the world’s biggest economic power. This is a market Falkirk deserves to get a slice of and a company in our area is now sending out the first shipment of goods to China in what will be a very profitable exercise for them.
“Other companies are signing deals too, entirely down to the visit we made to China. We are absolutely delighted some deals have already been done but there are more in the pipeline.
“We can look back on this visit with great pride and firms that feel they have something to offer the Chinese market should get in touch with our officers.”
Councillor Linda Gow said she appreciated the effort which went into the visit and the results it achieved, but pointed to China’s poor human rights record and said she hoped the council would keep this in mind.