Driving the ‘Golden Era’ of Sino-UK Relations to New Heights

Jian Ping Sun and Therese Lethu reports from the UK China Business Leaders Summit about building new opportunities between the UK and China

Posted by Jian Ping Sun; Therese Lethu Times Publications Group on Monday, 7th August 2017

The 2nd UK-China Business Leaders Summit, hosted by the UK Chinese Business Association, took place successfully on 6th June 2016 in London.

Themed “Investment & Innovation; a New Era of Global Industry Consolidation”, 500 politicians, business leaders, entrepreneurs and academic experts came together to discuss opportunities and challenges in the current global economic situation. Top leaders of the UK and China private sectors gathered came together at the summit and used it as a platform to launch development of new business opportunities and building Sino-UK cooperation and relationships.

The summit coincided with the UK visit of Dr Wang Qinmin, Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) – the Chinese equivalent of the CBI. ACFIC is the highest authority overseeing the private sector in China, responsible for a sector contributing over 60 per cent of China’s total GDP. He is also the Chairman of CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), and made a speech in this capacity about "sustainable partnerships and bilateral trade between China and the UK in the current era of economic globalization”.

Chinese ambassador to the UK, H.E Ambassador Liu Xiaoming remarked that; “Both China and the UK are committed to building an open economy, forming regional growth hubs and upgrading manufacturing. When it comes to open market and development concepts, our two countries have a great deal in common.

China welcomes British enterprises. We welcome your high value added products and your advanced services. We also welcome your exploration for business opportunities in China’s vast central and western regions.

To the Chinese companies, especially the private sector, I encourage you to come here to Britain to build your international business, promote your brands and enhance the quality of your products and services. I also encourage you to take part in Britain’s regional development plans, such as the “Northern Powerhouse” and the “Midlands Engine for Growth”.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Group, Ron Dennis CBE, commented in his speech: "As a British entrepreneur, I believe that now is the time for businesses and entrepreneurs to promote the development of long-term strength and I think the summit has a very pragmatic core purpose. That purpose is to build a platform at the highest level for Chinese and British business leaders, so that they can gather here to strengthen high-level talks in understanding, promote cooperation and eventually achieve a win-win situation".

Mr Martin Donnelly CMG, Permanent Secretary for the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, proclaimed in his speech: "Better communication between Chinese and British entrepreneurs increases mutual trust and friendship between the two countries. As President Xi said ‘Those who share common goals will never be prevented from working together by mountains or oceans.” The British Government whole-heartedly agrees with his words. We are committed to extending the Sino-British relations at all levels and in all areas. The most important relationship is the commercial relationship as it will affect a lot of people”.

Phil Thomson, Senior Vice President of GlaxoSmithKline, told the media during the summit: "At the most basic level, we are looking to work in China, with China and for China. We have made a lot of changes to our business over the last two or three years, making fundamental changes to our operating model in China. We have also launched a series of investments in manufacturing technology and invested significantly to increase our research development capability. These changes are all very important, not least for the company, but also actually for investing in China and supporting the UK-China relationship, which is built around innovation and growth."

Lady Barbara Judge, Chairwoman of British Institute of Directors, hosted the summit. She declared: "There are huge opportunities with such a big, powerful market as China and it is essential that for a creative and entrepreneurial nation such as the UK, we get together with China to build businesses together for prosperity for all."

The summit also witnessed the birth of the UK-China Entrepreneurs Club. Jointly founded by Chinese and British industry leaders, it aims to initiate efforts to promote dialogue and exchange thus to push forward the Sino-British co-innovation and industrial integration.

The founding members of the UK-China Entrepreneurs Club comprise of: Mr Ron Dennis C, Chairman and of CEO of McLaren Group; Sir Paul Drechsler, Chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, and CEO of the British East Main Committee; Mr Dong Wenbiao, Vice-Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and President of China Minsheng Investment Bank Co., Ltd.; Lord Mervyn Davies, Chairman and Partner of Corsair Capital; Mr Glen Moreno, Chairman of Virgin Money; Mr Shao Ping, President of China Ping An Bank; Lady Barbara Judge, Chairwoman of the British Institute of Directors; Madam Xia Hua, Chairman Global Success International Group; Mr Shi Yuzhu Chairman of the China Giant Network Company; Mr Li Guangrong, Chairman of Tehua Investment Holding Co. Ltd. and Director of Hua An property Insurance; Mr Magnus Goodland, Chief of Staff for Lord Jacob Rothschild; Dr Li Zhenxi, Chairman of Baoshang Bank and President of the Supervisory Committee of the Asia Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA); Mr Davide Serra, Founding Partner and CEO of Algebris Investments; Mr Liu Qingfeng, Chairman of iFLYTEK Co.Ltd; Lord John Owen, Chairman of Fidelity China Special Situations Fund.

The 2nd UK-China Business Leaders Summit, hosted by the UK-Chinese Business Association, is proud to be supported and co-organized by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, UK Trade & Investment, Britain Business Council, and British Institute of Directors.

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China Import Export Fair

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Department for International Trade

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