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UK-China Senior Care Business Forum Report: Key role for UK

BritCham / CBBC
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On 21 August, CBBC brought together 50 senior executives from both UK and China for a half-day of data, discussion and debate at our UK-China Senior Care Business Forum co-hosted by CBRE at their headquarters in Shanghai. The lively, interactive session led by five expert speakers and panellists provided a useful snapshot of the main senior care policies and segments in China, identified common challenges UK businesses will face, and discussed “how to” strategy and advice for successfully entering and gaining a foothold in senior care markets. 
 
 
 
Dealing with an ageing population
China’s senior citizens population (60+) is set to grow from the current 15 per cent of the population to 30 per cent (or 340 million) by 2030. At the same time, birth rates under the one-child policy mean that there will not be enough family members to care for their elders. Irene Wang at CBRE in Shanghai pointed out how effectively caring for China’s large and expanding senior population is a focus of the government’s current Five-Year Plan. Ms Wang explained: "In July of this year the government announced a number of measures including a directive that children must visit their parents, and the opening-up of the senior care sector to direct foreign investment."
 
UK companies advised to start small
While private investment in China’s senior care developments and facilities to date has focused on generally on large high-end property-based projects, a common theme during the forum was that UK participants are advised to start off with developing small projects. Our experts were in agreement that spending time to understand local dynamics and being flexible in approach and expectations was essential to ensuring efficiency, quality and financial viability. Then, with a proven model, local governments and enterprises will be keen to replicate it and roll out a winning formula with you.
 
Excellent opportunity for the UK
The UK, with its experience and expertise, has an excellent opportunity under these circumstances. Dr Eamon McKinney of CBN Care Group stressed the need in China to create trust in the marketplace through quality senior care services and provision in the mid- to high-end market segments as a pillar of value differentiation for UK offerings. In a specific example, Dr McKinney urged UK firms with operations expertise to leverage their world-class reputation and experience as their value proposition to assuring quality management and the delivery of trustworthy service.  
 
 
 
This forum, part of CBBC’s Liveable Cities programme, was one segment of a broader CBBC China Senior Care project this year. The project, carried out in conjunction with UKTI and Healthcare UK, includes a report on China's senior care market to be published in October, seminars on market opportunities to be held in the UK and China in October and November, and a trade mission for UK companies to visit Chinese projects and companies in January 2014.
 
Presentations from the forum can be viewed below, and more information on this subject is available here
 
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