Chinese investors were shown the strength of Nottinghamshire businesses in a bid to encourage closer partnerships, as part of a new drive by the Government.
The European Union and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now the EU’s second-biggest trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner.
The EU is committed to open trading relations with China. However, the EU wants to ensure that China trades fairly, respects intellectual property rights and meets its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Communities Secretary and Midlands Engine minister Sajid Javid has announced that he wants to establish better links between the region and Far East at the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in Shanghai.
As well as boosting the image and profile of the area, The Midlands Engine initiative aims to highlight the region’s strengths to grow the economy and create jobs.
Alongside Sir John Peace, the Experian founder and Chairman of the Midlands Engine Partnership, Mr Javid showcased the strength of the Midlands that are aligned with China’s priority sectors – highlighting the many opportunities for Chinese businesses and investors in the region.
The CIIF is the most influential international industry exhibition in the country and the UK is this year’s country of honour at the event.
With more than 2,500 exhibitors and 160,000 trade visitors expected to attend the five-day extravaganza, CIIF has become the most influential international industry exhibition in the country. it provides an opportunity for Chinese investors to link with companies from some of the largest cities in the region, including Nottingham and Derby.
Mr Javid said: “Britain and China have been trading partners for generations and so I’m eager to make that partnership stronger, more prosperous and mutually beneficial. At the heart of England, the Midlands, is the perfect place to do that.
“With an economy worth over £200 billion and a worldwide reputation for advanced manufacturing, the region is home to 440,000 businesses ranging from global brands to innovative start-ups keen to enter the Chinese market.
“The international connectivity of the Midlands Engine region, plugged into the world stage by excellent road, rail and air networks, also makes it one of the most exciting investment opportunities in Europe.
“Last year, almost 2,000 Midlands-based companies exported over £3 billion worth of goods to China. This shows how China is an important market to the region, and so we have a real opportunity to strengthen this relationship and build on what is already being successfully achieved.”
Sir John, who is also Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, added: “The Midlands is a natural partner to China. We are home to cutting-edge research facilities, world-renowned brands and expertise in sectors which complement the next stage of China’s incredible growth story.
“At a time when the UK must become more outward looking and form new relationships with international partners for trade and investment, we have a fantastic opportunity to generate targeted and sustainable growth from relationships with China.”