United Kingdom


  • Industry: Retail and Consumer Goods
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 17/06/2014

Visa changes are a victory for common sense 

Commenting on the measures announced today, which will make it easier for Chinese citizens to obtain a visa and visit the UK, David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said:

“This is a victory for common sense.  We need to break down any barriers which prevent Chinese businessmen and tourists coming to the UK: if they are stopped at the gate then our neighbours on the continent will not miss the opportunity to sell to them and take advantage of the investment opportunities on offer.


“More affluent middle class Chinese are travelling for business and leisure than ever before and have a voracious appetite for European goods, especially heritage and luxury brands.  This presents a huge opportunity for British retailers to build their brand in the Chinese marketplace from the comfort of their flagship stores at home.1


“As well as selling to Chinese tourists whilst they are on UK shores, retailers can use their stores as a shop front for their online operations and encourage customers to buy from them once they return home to China.


“The potential opportunity is vast. China is experiencing explosive growth in e-commerce sales and its government has been supportive of the e-commerce sector and incorporated it within its broader economic policies.  By 2015, e-commerce transactions in China are projected to reach USD540 billion, or 7.5 percent of total retail transactions, and by 2020, China’s e-commerce market is forecasted to be larger than those of the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France combined.  It’s vital UK retailers are not tied up in red tape and are able to sell to these super consumers.”2



Notes to editors:
1 A KPMG survey on travelling middle-class Chinese consumers found that the number of travelling overseas increased to 71 percent in 2012, compared to 53 percent in 2008, a significant change.

2 Source: Amanda. ‘China E-Commerce Market to Reach 30 Trillion Yuan in 2020’. China internet watch. March 13, 2013 http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/2007/china-e-commerce-market-2020/ quoted in KPMG ‘China Connected Consumers’ (PDF 3.3MB) February 2014


For press enquiries please contact:
Zoe Sheppard, PR Manager at KPMG: +44 (0)117 905 4337 

About KPMG
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.


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