China Trade & Co-operation event strengthens opportunities for business collaboration

7 June 2021

The recent Henan-Gloucestershire Trade & Co-operation event which took place virtually on 26th May featured key businesses from both regions has been very positively received with genuine links formed between organisations to explore links and prospects for co-operation.

The event was co-hosted by GFirst LEP and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Henan Provincial Government in China and was also supported by the Department of Industry & Trade British Consulate-General Wuhan and the Henan the Provincial Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
After a trip to the province in September 2019 where David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP, the mission was to promote Gloucestershire and establish potential trade connections, it was agreed there was ample opportunity to form bilateral links between the two regions. Both parties were incredibly keen to capitalise on this hence the idea for the event was initiated and realised on 26th May.

The event featured five industry champions from both regions, leading enterprises that were born and thriving in their respective regions and were open to exploring links on either side. Gloucestershire was represented by motion control pioneers Renishaw; graphene experts Versarien, specialist education Hartpury College & University; global food technology & research centre Campden BRI and Britain’s greenest energy provider Ecotricity.

All five companies provided introductory presentations, showcasing their business and were open to explore opportunities. The Henan based companies featured YTO Group - agricultural machinery specialists; Zhengzhou International – logistics and block train engineers; China Huaneng Group – low energy enterprise provider; Henan University of Animal Husbandry and Economy and Luohe Vocational College of Food.
The virtual event included instantaneous translation and immediate synergies between many of the businesses were quickly identified.

Martin Walley, Deputy Consul General of British Consulate General Wuhan stated that; “this event is the culmination of many hours of hard work on both sides to bring about a useful, and I hope, fruitful exchange of information, both in Zhengzhou and Gloucester, to make useful contacts with suitable partners for future collaboration.”
Mark Hawthorne MBE, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, who opened the event for Gloucestershire commented that “it was a pleasure to attend this exploratory event and I look forward to both parties enhancing exchanges and expanding co-operation, particularly in the obvious synergies of green energy, high-end manufacturing, cultural tourism, education, economy and trade.”

David Owen, CEO for GFirst LEP also said “This event really showcased what Gloucestershire businesses have to offer on an international scale and sends a clear message that we are very much open and ready to do business. I look forward to seeing the outcomes from this cooperation.”
Dignitary speeches highlighted that there were complementary advantages on both sides with broad prospect for co-operation. It is hoped that outcomes from the meeting will promote exchanges and mutual learnings in advanced manufacturing, agritech, tourism and ultimately a positive contribution to China-UK business relations.

As a result of this event, the Inward Investment team at GFirst LEP hopes that this will lead to further collaborative events with the region and also explore other foreign trade and co-operation opportunities. The event received positive press coverage in Henan, featuring on regional news and other local media sites.

https://www.hntv.tv/lb/article/1/1398240827666468864?_t=0bc3104b82709c6d29b938f5cf7d14b4&source=mobile

The Gloucestershire side of the event was organised by the Inward Investment team at GFirst LEP who would like to thank everybody that was involved in this valuable event.

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