As Theresa May prepared to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, a business delegation of 50 British companies that had traveled to China with the U.K. prime minister was hard at work.
British businesses are fighting to expand into other markets, including China, as they face uncertainty on how trade will work with Europe once the U.K. leaves the European Union (EU) in 2019.
And, in China this week, those firms were working to remove regulations on imported goods and increase their presence in the world's second-largest economy.
"We've been talking to all sorts of Chinese businesses, so that's been really helpful, and lots of Chinese businesses in the food and drinks sector who might be interested in importing more Scotch whisky," Karen Betts, chief executive at Scotch Whisky Association told CNBC about her experience traveling with the U.K. delegation.
"But we have also had opportunities to have conversations with the Chinese authorities about some of the regulation barriers and that sort of thing… It's been really useful."