Business leaders came together at an international forum hosted by Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School to explore trade opportunities with China.
High-ranking officials from organisations including the Chinese Embassy, North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Newcastle City Council, Northstar Ventures, Lancaster University, Chinese technology and investment group Cocoon Networks, and Tsinghua University Science Park Group (TUS Group) spoke at the North East China Business forum.
The event, at the Civic Centre in Newcastle, also marked the launch of the 10th China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge competition – an international drive to encourage UK businesses and venture capitalists to support student start-up businesses looking to build commercial relationships in China. This year, Northumbria University, Lancaster University, University of East Angelia, China Foundation for Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment, a high profile government agent in China and Cocoon Networks host the China UK Entrepreneurship Competition.
Mr SuNan Jiang, Minister Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Chinese Embassy, made a welcome address and discussed technology and innovation development and cooperation between China and UK over the past few years.
Councillor Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Newcastle City Council discussed how the UK BREXIT vote has not affected the North East being open to investors and business with China while Professor John Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) at Northumbria University talked about competition and how it can promote entrepreneurism.
Other speakers included Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East LEP and CEO of Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd, Professor George Marston, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at Northumbria University and Elson Zhou, Director of Cocoon Networks. Professor John Wilson also chaired the launch of the 10th China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge competition.
Professor Yu Xiong, Chair of Technology and Operations Management at Newcastle Business School and the founder of the Forum, said: “The potential for trade and innovation-sharing partnerships in China is enormous, but for individual businesses knowing where and how to gain a foothold can seem overwhelming. The expertise, experience and know-how available at this forum will help businesses overcome this and prove hugely valuable, whether it’s for export, import or partnership building.”
Professor George Marston, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at Northumbria University, added: “Northumbria University recognises within its corporate strategy that partnership working is absolutely key if we are going to grow and develop in the way we want to. Partnerships, whether they are with the EU or China, are incredibly important. Newcastle Business School does a huge amount to help grow businesses in the region and the opportunity to work with innovative companies and universities in China is a fantastic one.”
The 10th China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge competition entry is at www.cocoon-networks.com
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