UK takes centre stage at the Silk Road International Expo, as Country of Honour

UK takes centre stage at the Silk Road International Expo, as Country of Honour

by Midlands Engine Newsroom

The UK Pavilion was opened today at the Silk Road International Expo (SRIE) in Xi’an, where the UK is Country of Honour.

The UK’s Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Rona Fairhead, and the Governor of Shaan’xi Province, China, Liu Guozhong today (11 May) opened the UK Pavilion at the Silk Road International Expo (SRIE) in Xi’an, where the UK is Country of Honour.

Taking place at Qujiang International Conference and Exhibition Centre from 11-15 May in Xi’an; and jointly organised by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Ministry of Commerce (MofCom) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the UK will have a national pavilion at the event, demonstrating its areas of expertise across many sectors.

A delegation of more than 50 UK companies from across the UK is set to attend and exhibit, showcasing the UK’s strengths in
• infrastructure
• education
• healthcare and life sciences

Companies from professional and financial services, legal services, culture and tourism will also attend the Expo to showcase their achievements and prospect for cooperation with Belt and Road countries in economy and trade, energy resources, people-to-people exchanges and tourism.

Many of the businesses came on the inaugural direct flight from London to Xi’an on Tianjin Airlines on May 7.

UK-China regional links

UK participation in the event will celebrate UK-China regional links. There are over 58 active regional partnerships between the two countries. As Xi’an’s sister city, Edinburgh is bringing a delegation of UK businesses to continue to strengthen ties between the two cities, as well as to forge new business links.

The UK pavilion will also showcase companies from the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine strong relationships have already been established with different regions of China.

The UK’s Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Rona Fairhead said:

Broadening and deepening regional and local cooperation is a core element of the UK’s relationship with China. The UK is working alongside the China to showcase its dynamic, diverse and cutting-edge expertise.

The UK pavilion at SRIE is exhibiting the very best of the UK across sectors, and the Department for International Trade’s export credit agency is providing up to £25 billion worth of support for British businesses who want to sell their produces in the Chinese market.”

Belt and Road Initiative

Alongside the Silk Road Expo, the UK is also hosting a number of events including the UK-China Belt and Road Infrastructure Roundtable, the launch of UK government’s “Legal Services are GREAT” Campaign, the UK-China Belt and Road Higher Education Roundtable organized by British Council and the launch of the “Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress” campaign in China.

The Chancellor’s Special Envoy on the Belt and Road Initiative Douglas J Flint, will chair the UK-China Belt and Road Infrastructure Roundtable.

Leading UK and Shaanxi businesses from the financial, legal, insurance and infrastructure sectors will be brought together to explore ways to deepen UK-China collaboration on Belt and Road projects as well as opportunities in the Shaanxi regional infrastructure market.

The Chancellor’s Special Envoy on the Belt and Road Initiative Douglas J Flint said:

As Prime Minister Theresa May stated during her successful visit earlier this year, the UK is a natural partner for the Belt and Road Initiative. It presents an excellent opportunity for our two countries to work closely together to deliver positive outcomes for participating countries.”

Legal Services are GREAT

The “Legal Services are GREAT” reception will bring together leading legal experts from the UK to discuss the benefits of English law to international businesses working on the Belt and Road Initiative.

The UK’s legal system is well-established and has been developed over centuries resulting in a significant amount of case law and legal precedent. UK legal professionals can help advice on cross border transactions, giving foreign businesses confidence to invest in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress” campaign

As another highlight of the UK Government’s activities alongside the Expo, Minister Rona Fairhead together with Her Majesty’s Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward will launch the UK Government’s campaign “Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress” campaign in China.

This campaign is designed to promote women empowerment across the business world and invites businesses to pledge to foster women’s empowerment within their own organisations. This work forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between the UK Government’s Equalities Office and the All China Women’s Federation.

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward said:

I am pleased to be launching our new initiative: “Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress”, bringing together British and Chinese business representatives in China to pledge their support to undertake practical and effective women’s empowerment initiatives in their organisations. We want to create a platform for all enterprises.”

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