How Leon Paul started exporting to China

Leon Paul, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of performance fencing equipment, is now exporting into the sports economy sector in China.

After seven years of research and making valuable connections in market, Leon Paul has recently signed an export deal with one of the largest fencing clubs in the world (based in China) after receiving assistance and support from DIT.

The Department for International Trade worked with Leon Paul to contact local clubs in China, get a feel for the Chinese marketplace and make contacts with the China-Britain Business Council.

The deal has had a massive impact on Leon Paul, with the new contract bringing at least a million pounds worth of business every year to the company (with possibly up to two million over the next three to four years).

As a result of the new contract, Leon Paul plans to invest in more machinery and staff at their London based factory.

The Chinese market might seem daunting because of the country’s sheer scale, concerns about intellectual property, the language barrier and many of the cultural differences.

Ben Paul, Leon Paul’s director offered advice for businesses looking to start exporting in China:

 ‘There’s a lot of due diligence that needs doing at the start and then it’s… about learning about the culture. By meeting the people once you have a rapport with them everything starts becoming easier’

 ‘Sometimes the scale of the deals that you’re looking to do and the frustrating sort of paper documentation where you’ve got to go to an embassy to get a ratified document can sometimes seem quite exhausting and never-ending. But the rewards once they are done are easily outweigh the pain of getting there’.

In 2017 there were around 10,600 UK businesses who exported goods to China – worth around £16.6bn of exports.

Leon Paul