The bank is to take 15 UK-based small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that produce mother and baby products to Shanghai to network and do business. 

The delegation will attend the Children Baby Maternity Expo, which is taking place on July 25 to 27, as well as meet with local retail groups such as Kidswant and local banks. 

The SMEs will also visit a laboratory that provides certification inspection and quarantine for food and drinks, equipment, and clothing services in China. 

The bank has so far completed 25 trade missions this year, putting it on track to beat its total of 43 in 2017. 

Santander UK head of international John Carroll said a number of SMEs want to expand into export markets but face difficulties doing so.

Although they have support from banks and accountants, they often lack the logistical and on the ground support to make it work, which is what Santander is trying to help them with.

“What we are trying to do is look at what companies need to trade abroad and provide it to them,” he said. 

In the case of China, he said that Santander had spoken with local groups and French supermarket giant Carrefour, which has over 250 hypermarkets in the country, to find out more about the market there so that SMEs are prepared when they move in.

Carroll added that firms in the UK and Europe are concerned about the likelihood of a hard Brexit occurring and are making contingency plans.

As an example he said there had been an increase in the number of German firms that are setting up British subsidiaries.

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