The July/August issue of the Business Voice of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce reported the China Campaign that visited Beijing, Guangdong, Shenzhen and Tianjin, which featured strongly the Thames Valley Region. This website has also commented on the need of more positive governmental relationship with China in wooing Chinese investment and visitors.
A few months have gone by and the warming-up of Chinese businesses interest to the UK seems like the weather in July this year.
In the press, we have all learnt about the Wanda £1 billion investment into the UK hotel, and Sunseeker, as well as the new HQ of Huawei Technologies in Reading’s Green Park and ABP’s proposed £1 billion investment in the Newham’s Royal Docks.
It is not just the large scale M&A and new developments that have featured Chinese companies. On the ground, Chinese investors from the SME’s have also been attracted to the UK.
Beijing, Guangdong and Tianjin have already sent delegations in return to the Thames Valley Region in June and July. All have stated that they are keen to work with the region in the wake of understanding more of the impressive offers from the region and the support. The LinkToChina programme of inward Chinese visiting delegations shows that 8 business and governmental delegations have accepted invitations to visit the UK between May and October. By October, a total of 186 delegates will have visited the Thames Valley Region from more than 20 provinces and cities of China; including Anhui, Beijing, Fuijian/Zhangzhou, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhuhai, Guizhou, Harbin, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jilin, Nanjing, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Tianjin, Tibet, and Xinjiang.
The visiting businesses are coming from a wide range of industrial sectors; such as property, banking, finance, creative sectors, health, textiles, furniture, energy, machinery, electronics, automotive, health, tourism, import, export and investment, etc. Mr Jianzhong Zhao, Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Chamber of International Commerce, which is one of the 21 chamber network partners operating the LinkToChina programme, said more of his members would like to be exposed to investment opportunities in the UK market when he led a group to visit a prospective investment project on 10 August in Oxfordshire.
Mr Tao Tao, who set up Sunfor Lighting Ltd in June in Berkshire with help from BCC LinkToChina and its partners – The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade & Investment -, is excited with the EU market potential for the high-tech LED lighting business: “We have chosen the Thames Valley in the UK to launch our expansion into Europe”.
Dr Kegang Wu, Executive Director of LinkToChina who organised the China Campaign, says that the numbers of enquiries from Chinese investors and businesses have increased since the campaign this year and there is more investment in the pipeline.