On July 23rd and 24th, a CEAB delegation of 12 delegates visited Leeds. The delegation included delegates from CCPIT, the China Association for the International Exchange of Personnel, the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board (“INVEST SHANGHAI”), the China Travel Service, the Haier Group (UK branch), China Construction Bank, China Agricultural Bank, China Communication Bank, PetroChina, Fushi and Zhong Lun Law firm. One of the primary purposes of the delegation’s visit was to establish contacts with the economic development departments of the Leeds government, trade investment organisations, chambers of commerce and key industry players and organisations. Another aim was to get an overview of the economic, investment and trade opportunities in the Leeds region and Yorkshire, and to understand growing industries and those with growth potential.
During the day and half trip, the delegates had the opportunity to meet with the Leeds city mayor and other officials, directors from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, UK TI officials, CBBC, Leeds University and many other official organisations. In addition, the delegations visited the offices of the law firm Addleshaw Goddard and the data centre company, aql. Through these activities, the delegates had the chance to deeply understand the Leeds as global economic centre, in addition to being one of the leading regions in the UK in the healthcare sector, the largest manufacturing centre in the UK, the second largest financial centre and the largest digital industry outside of London.
On Thursday 23rd July 2015, the delegates were welcomed by the Leeds City Mayor Cllr Judith Chapman, Cllr Judith Blake and international relations Cllr Richard Lewis for an evening reception in the Civic Hall.
On the following day, the CEAB delegates made their way to the Addleshaw Goddard legal firm for introductions from the local Leeds government economic development departments, trade promotion organisations and other companies. Also in attendance at the event were more than 30 business representatives from the Leeds region. Rob Norreys, LEP Director and Head of Economic Strategy and Liz Cashon, Director of inward investment operations at the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership introduced the Leeds region and the main economic opportunities available; Katie Lee, China Relations Director and Colin Russell, International Trade Adviser at UK Trade & Investment introduced the government policies supporting Chinese investors; Dr Giles Blackburne, Executive Director of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) introduced the CBBC’s network and the services it provides to companies; Dr Hinrich Voss, Deputy Director at the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds introduced the vast talent pool present in the Leeds region.
Mr. Lin NING of the CCPIT also introduced the work of the CCPIT and CEAB followed by a short introduction by each of the Chinese delegates.
In the afternoon, the delegates visited the datacentre of the aql company where also they each had individual meetings with companies in the Leeds region.