A musical send-off has been given to some members of a Midlands Engine delegation who are heading to China in order to forge commercial links and increase trade.
An ensemble from the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music performed at Nottingham’s Council House shortly before the 18-strong delegation of senior government and business representatives flew to Beijing and began the mission across three provinces.
Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace is leading the delegation which will be spending a week in China holding a series of high-level meetings with companies and government officials.
China has been identified as a key market where the Midlands Engine can develop trade links. The delegation will be travelling across three provinces in support of the Internationalisation agenda.
Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace said:
This is a fantastic opportunity to develop important trading links between the Midlands and some key markets in China that will support the delivery of the Midlands Engine internationalisation agenda.
During the week we will be holding a series of meetings with high-level decision makers in the provinces along with senior business representatives from a variety of sectors, all of which offer a number of opportunities for further trade and investment. This is great news for the Midlands and demonstrates how we are seeking to open up global markets.
The mission will be seeking to achieve a number of objectives including the following:
- Begin negotiations for a five-year plan with the Governor of Zhejiang Province that will support trade and investment
- Make the case for direct aviation links between China and the Midlands
- Explore how the Midlands can capitalise on the rapid developments of Big Data, AI and Fin Tech
- Establish new communication structures to better connect and fund innovation initiatives
- Promote the Midlands as a tourism destination
- Examine how the Midlands’ football clubs can develop stronger connections
The week-long trade mission (November 23-30) will take in three provinces which have a combined economy of $1.3 trillion:
- Guizhou: A region growing at more than 10% year on year which has become known as China’s Big Data Hub
- Zhejiang: One of the most affluent provinces of China with substantial trade and investment links already established with the Midlands
- Shanghai: China’s financial and commercial hub
This is the Midlands Engine’s second trade mission to China this year. The last one, in September, focused on the creative and design sectors.
Accompanying Sir John on the trip will be Anthony May, chair of the Midlands Engine Operations Board, British Embassy officials, East Midlands Airport, Birmingham Airport, HSBC, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Leicester, the University of Birmingham, the China-Britain Football Centre, Hampton Holdings, United Travel and the Department for International Trade.