U.K. independent trade body AIM is taking a fourth music mission to China next month, with ten companies signing up to the Beijing trip.

The mission, which runs from Sept. 8 to 14, intends to help the independent sector prosper in China's growing music market. AIM says the delegation will build contacts in Beijing to help develop opportunities for touring, licensing and distribution, synch licensing and new media initiatives in the region.

AIM is organizing the visit in association with government body U.K. Trade and Investment. It follows three previous missions, which AIM says helped numerous British music companies to establish a presence in the Chinese market.

"China's rapidly expanding economy and high broadband penetration makes it a key market for British music," said AIM's Chairman and CEO Alison Wenham in a statement. "Building on our previous missions, this trade mission will equip British music companies with the vital intelligence and contacts they need to develop their business in the region."

Next month's mission coincides with the Beijing Pop Festival, China's largest annual open-air international music festival. U.K. delegates will meet with organizers of the event.

The companies participating include Beggars Group Digital, Creative Capital, Last.fm, London Calling, Lo-Max Records Ltd and Rykodisc International, and Owen Hopkin from alternative rock band the Crimea.

Delegates will attend presentations from Chinese concert promoters, lawyers, branding strategists and new media companies, plus representatives from the Chinese independent music sector and international companies already operating in the region.

CAVA, the Chinese government association for music and other audio/video industries, has again organized the guestlist for the trade mission's networking reception.

In a statement, Simon Wheeler, Beggars' head of digital and chairman of AIM's new media committee, said, "China has great potential as a new music market, but no amount of research, listening or briefings can replace the value of actually being there, seeing how people interact with music and media and feeling the excitement of a rapidly developing market."

According to the IFPI, the value of the Chinese music market grew by 25% to $74 million in 2006, with digital music products such as ringback tones and mastertones driving the growth.