Trade ties with China ‘vital’ to reap IP benefits

Marks & Clerk partner Campbell Newell: 'Scotland simply cannot be left behind'. Picture
Marks & Clerk partner Campbell Newell: 'Scotland simply cannot be left behind'. Picture
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Scotland must forge stronger trade links with China to avoid being left behind as the superpower capitalises on its status as the global driver of intellectual property (IP) growth, a specialist has warned.

IP services provider Marks & Clerk has called for closer business ties and increased trade with China, as the country now overwhelmingly leads growth in filings for patents, trademarks, and other IP rights at the heart of the global economy.

Scottish business should take advantage of internationally recognised heritage industries, such as whisky and tweed, which are luxury items with a strong appeal to China’s affluent middle classes, said the firm.

More than 40 per cent of the 3.17 million patent applications submitted worldwide in 2017 came from China, according to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Campbell Newell, a partner in Marks & Clerk’s Edinburgh office, said: “Scotland simply cannot be left behind as China goes from strength to strength. It’s vital that we build stronger trade links and exports to the world’s largest economy.

“We are keenly aware of the benefits awaiting Scottish businesses that proactively engage with their Chinese counterparts. The Chinese wedding industry alone is valued at £100 billion a year and the first direct air link between Beijing and Edinburgh which launched earlier this year is already reaping dividends. The opportunity to target couples from China’s newly affluent middle classes and super-rich elite is huge.

“We must now work hard to ensure that Scotland benefits from the continued growth of the world’s largest economy and maximises its IP on a global scale. Missing out on those benefits is unthinkable.”