Main purpose of the role:
Based in the British Consulate in Guangzhou and reporting to the Senior Manager of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) based in Shanghai, the post-holder will be responsible for promoting Invest Northern Ireland’s (Invest NI) AME sector in China.
The post holder will work with the Senior Manager of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) based in Shanghai, and the primary focus of the position will be business development and to increase Northern Ireland exports in AME sector by helping Northern Ireland companies with market access and market development in China. When carrying out their work, the post-holder will be required to forge effective working relationships with a wide range of Northern Ireland client companies and customers in China, stakeholders, senior officials and government representatives. Whilst AME is a significant business sector for Northern Ireland in China and in Asia Pacific (APAC), the post holder will also be expected to support the wider Invest NI team to meet the collective goals and objectives of INI in China and APAC.
Linked to Invest NI’s International and Business strategies and the strategies of Invest NI’s sector teams based in Northern Ireland, and working with our international partners and stakeholders, the post-holder will follow an annual operating plan and objectives that support the growth of Northern Ireland exports in AME sector and ultimately economic growth for Northern Ireland.
As well as one to one support for Northern Ireland businesses, the post-holder will work with the Senior Manager to organize and support activities such as marketing events and conferences, represent Invest Northern Ireland at business conferences, and prepare activity reports which summarise information on the AME sector in China. A significant part of the role is to undertake research, conduct business development work to identify sales opportunities for Northern Ireland companies and provide market access advice to new market entrants. The post holder will also be required to work with the Senior Manager to deliver activities within a pre-allocated budget.
The post holder will also work closely with the wider Invest NI teams based in its Belfast headquarters, Asia Pacific, China and other locations. The post-holder is also expected to undertake travel on a regular basis, either within China, to the UK and other countries.
Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:
Trade & Business development
- Conduct strong and effective business development activities and proactively identify relevant business opportunities of AME sector (primarily on Material Handling) in South and West China for Northern Ireland companies through market intelligence, connections and research and promote the Northern Ireland capability to key decision makers;
- Support Northern Ireland companies interested in China by providing information required to make informed business decisions by handling market research and assessment enquiries, conducting visits and arranging business development meetings and writing appropriate reports. In this regard the post holder will be able to leverage the Invest NI’s appointed Trade Advisory Support providers in China in the delivery of support services to NI client companies and in relation to sector relevant market research.
- Identify and articulate specific business opportunities to colleagues in Northern Ireland including International Trade Advisers and trade organisations and work with NI companies to help them respond to these opportunities;
- Work with the Senior Manager and INI’s APAC and domestic Marcoms division to contribute to the development and delivery of the marketing and communication strategy that will support the business development strategy and tactics used in that strategy;
- Identify and attend sector trade exhibitions and conferences, deliver in-market physical events and virtual webinars, arrange and attend client and customer meetings to promote industry excellence from NI and to highlight key market opportunities for NI companies;
- Work with colleagues in Northern Ireland to deliver visit programmes and learning journeys for Northern Ireland companies, providing added value for participating companies by introducing them to your network of contacts and setting up 1-2-1 meetings for them while in market;
- Work with the Senior Manager and other members of INI’s APAC team to co-ordinate VIP (including Ministerial delegations) visit programmes to China, prepare briefing and manage the necessary logistics and protocols;
- Support business delegations by providing English / Chinese translations in an effective manner as required.
Effective Strategic Relationship Management
- Build strategic relationships with targeted companies, stakeholders and influencers in the region and enable Northern Ireland companies to engage with them;
- Develop close working relationships in China with other partners including Northern Ireland Bureau, Department of International Trade (DIT), British Chambers of Commerce and other in-market industry trade bodies who can add value to Invest NI’s work with Northern Ireland companies’ in-market and where appropriate work on joint planning and delivery of events;
- Work effectively in partnership with wider teams based in Northern Ireland, Asia Pacific and other locations.
- Confidently work as the contact point for Invest NI in the British Consulate General Guangzhou.
Database Management & market intelligence
- Work with the Senior Manager to produce data driven insights from market intelligence to scope and explore new opportunities for Northern Ireland companies;
- Manage relevant information sources and maintain accurate recording of customer and stakeholder information on Invest NI’s CRM and management systems.
Resources managed (staff and expenditure): The post-holder is not required to manage staff. The post-holder will be required to manage and deliver specific events within a pre-allocated budget.
The post-holder will be required to liaise actively and regularly with the Asia Pacific and other Invest Northern Ireland offices. The post-holder will be expected to make decisions delegated to him/her by the team management, and act within Invest Northern Ireland policies and guidelines.
- Educated to degree level ideally in a business or related function;
- A significant and successful track record in Business Development, including market research, analysing market data, preparing reports, presenting information to clients and securing sales / commercial outputs;
- Over 5 years’ working experience in a private or public sector organisation, with at least three years’ relevant experience in a sales environment
- Knowledge of Northern Ireland’s AME sector and business drivers;
- Experience in undertaking market research, analysing market data, preparing reports, presenting information to clients and helping clients to achieve positive commercial outcomes;
- A sound commercial knowledge of China, its business opportunities and awareness of the issues and solutions relating to doing business in China;
- Good networking skill, experience in building and maintaining effective working relationships across all levels of businesses;
- Excellent organisational and administrative skills;
- Excellent IT skills (using Microsoft software including PowerPoint, Excel and Word);
- Highly proficient in both spoken and written English and Chinese;
- Ability to work at pace and independently as part of a remote team.
- Working experience in a private or public sector organisation, with at least three years’ relevant experience in the in the AME sector in China;
- Familiar with the role of economic development agencies and how they collaborate successfully with UK National stakeholders internationally.
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