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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
UK music office to open in China
Britney Spears
Britney Spears has made an impact in China
British musicians are being offered a helping hand to crack the lucrative market in China, it has been announced.

A UK music services office is being opened in Beijing on Monday offering advice to independent labels on how to make contacts in the country.

It is being set up by the Association of Independent Music and government body UK Trade and Investment.

The Chinese CD and DVD market is worth an estimated 114m and is rapidly expanding each year.

But it also has a massive problem with piracy, mass producing illegal CDs and exporting them across the world.

The Beijing office will be run by Stuart Watson, former head of Zomba Records which managed the careers of Britney Spears and N'Sync - both of whom have had huge exposure in Asia Pacific.

Changing global economy

Its primary aim will be a first point of contact for music companies wanting to break into China.

In conjunction with Chinese music marketing consultancy SWAT, it will be able to arrange contacts with key local figures in the industry

Minister for Trade Ian Pearson said: "The British music industry's huge talent must compete on the international stage and there is no market growing faster than China.

"The British music industry already employs 130,000 people and earns well over a billion pounds in exports; a mere taste of what it can achieve with the right help in a fast changing global economy."

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