City region strengthens relationships with China
Investment from China has seen more than 1,200 jobs created and investment projects worth a total of £233.5m made across Sheffield City Region.
And now these business relationships are set to be boosted even further, after the city region became a member of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) last week.
Membership means that Sheffield City Region can take advantage of CBBC’s specialist advisers in the UK and a network of business contacts and decision-makers across China, in order to form new relationships, create investment opportunities and further grow the economy.
Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The ‘let’s get it done’ work-ethic in Sheffield City Region harnesses drive and ambition. With everyone pulling together, and a significant sense of community, we are achieving transformational change and building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy.
“In a decade, we have built innumerable business partnerships, smoothed alliances between the public and private sectors, and created highly-efficient regulatory systems – we make it really easy to do business here.
“Sheffield City Region has a shared heritage of heritage, learning and resilience with China. With CBBC membership, we can build upon our existing business relationships with China and create new ones, bringing further investment into the region and growing our economy further.”
CBBC helps British and Chinese businesses and organisations work together in China, the UK and around the world.
With more than 1,000 members, it operates alongside the British Chamber of Commerce in China to support companies of all sizes and sectors.
The CBBC also delivers a range of events and other services, to highlight export opportunities for UK companies and investment opportunities for Chinese organisations.
The announcement comes as a delegation of more than 300 participants from business and government in China are also set to attend the Horasis China conference, taking place in Sheffield on 5 and 6 November this year.
Sheffield City Region fought off stiff competition from cities around the world to bring Horasis China to Sheffield. The conference has previously been held in cities including Geneva, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Lisbon and The Hague, and is viewed as being on a par with Davos, the high-level international gathering.
The conference will be co-hosted with an impressive array of partners, including the Horasis Global Visions Community, the China Federation of Industrial Economics, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
In the UK, Sheffield City Region is working with the Department for International Trade, Visit Britain and Visit England, as well as both of Sheffield’s universities.
The conference programme will explore China’s trade strategy, as well as giving delegates the chance to network and relax in venues including the Cutlers Hall, City Hall, Sheffield Cathedral, the AMRC and Chatsworth House.
A range of parallel events will include visits to key assets such as the National College for High Speed Rail and pitches by SCR businesses to promote commercial collaboration, trade openings, business school links and merger and acquisition opportunities.
Sheffield City Region is already home to more than 700 internationally-owned foreign businesses, including Chinese investors. Foreign investment has brought £2.15billion into the region in the 10 years between 2006 and 2016, creating almost 9,000 jobs.
Sir Nigel added: “Horasis China is the right conference, in the right place, at the right time. It’s the start of a long-term and highly focused approach to our trade and investment strategies to create jobs and growth.
“We know it will build on our reputation as a global leader in innovation and advanced manufacturing in the Northern Powerhouse, and I look forward to welcoming our Chinese guests in the autumn and to discussing business and the way forward.”
For further information on Horasis China, visit the website here.