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13 February 2013

 A Gateshead firm specialising in home and lifestyle adaptations for people with disabilities is awash with success in China after launching an office in Shanghai.

Launched in 1993, by Martin and Denise Cook, Easibathe and Easiaccess Ltd provides a wide range of affordable and bespoke bathing and hoist solutions and specialist adaptation work for individual homes or large-scale refurbishments.

Having established itself as a market leader, the company was keen to explore new overseas opportunities and enlisted the support of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) taking advantage of a wide range of services including Passport to Export and the Gateway to Global Growth (G3) initiatives.

Easibathe also took part in market visits to
China and commissioned an Oversees Market Introduction Service (OMIS) report before using the specialist support of UKTI’s China Programme and Virtual Export Manager to realise its expansion plans.

Last year the company launched its
Shanghai office and Easibathe China was incorporated to enable the company to forge new relationships in China’s major cities to promote its “Excellent Systems” ramping products.

Nigel Heath, Managing Director at Easibathe & Easiaccess Ltd, explained:
China has an estimated 83 million people with disabilities and we felt our products and expertise could make a real difference.
“The help and guidance from our local UKTI office, in particular Sonya Roe, John Doolan and Zhengming Yang, has proved invaluable in the process of understanding and establishing our presence in China.
“Our chairman Martin Cook has been heading up operations in China and has been learning Mandarin so he can build relationships with potential clients and suppliers more effectively.
“Opening the new office in Shanghai was an important step in establishing ourselves in China and by taking part in the Care and Rehabilitation (CREXPO) exhibition in Beijing and also the China Aid exhibition in Shanghai, we were able to make contact with many intermediaries, dealers and the general public.
“This has now enabled us to secure our first major order, as well as an exclusive deal with the Beijing Accessibility Centre, to supply to the Assistive Device Centres, across the whole of China.”

John Doolan, one of UK Trade & Investment’s International Trade Advisers, said:
“Easibathe China is an important new development for Easibathe & Easiaccess and one which is already bringing in new business.
“As the world’s second largest economy, China offers huge potential but as it’s such a large and complex market even seasoned exporters can benefit from the advice and support that UKTI can offer.
“We have worked with Easibathe & Easiaccess for some time and the company has made good use of our wide range of services to identify potential growth areas and implement its export plans.
“I hope the company’s success will inspire others to take up the export for growth challenge and to contact UKTI to find out how we can help.”
North East companies interested in exploring opportunities in China are invited to take part in UKTI’s forthcoming Market Visit to Wuhan and Shanghai (17- 25 May). There will also be an opportunity to attend a pre-visit workshop on 24 April. Places are limited and delegates have until 1 March to sign up.