Scotland's only China-focused business awards have returned for their second year, recognising and celebrating achievements in trade and investment between Scotland and China.
Scottish firms have been working hard over the year to forge business partnerships with China and deliver commercial success. It is vitally important that we acknowledge their innovation, effort and commitment and celebrate their outstanding export successes. The Awards serve to showcase the best Scotland has to offer and to encourage other businesses and organisations to look to China as an opportunity.
Winners of the Awards were announced during the Chinese Burns Supper 2019 taking place at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh on January 24th
Innovation in Education - China-UK Low Carbon College
The China-UK Low Carbon College (LCC) is an innovative, complex and highly unique international university project that aims to accelerate the adoption of impactful low carbon solutions in China.
The LCC has already launched two dual postgraduate education programmes and a third programme is being prepared for launch with further programmes also in development. It is envisaged that the LCC will be educating over 600 students per year by 2021. The teaching pillar has linked into two of the worlds largest low carbon networks – Climate KIC (100+ European Universities) and IIES (15+ Global Universities to promote further university and student engagement.
10 new research partnerships were launched between Edinburgh and Shanghai Jiaotong in 2018 and a further 5 will launch in 2019 with sub-partners. Over 250 research academics are involved to date and significant research proposals focusing on CCS, Smart Mobility, Water & Waste usage and Energy are under development, with several industrial partners also engaged. The LCC initiative is actively growing across all pillars and has clear targets for growth over the next 5 years.
Investor of the Year – Ctrip
Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth to become a leading travel service provider in China. In 2016 Ctrip invested in leading meta-search company Skyscanner and started what would become a highly successful partnership with the City of Edinburgh. Despite the existence of cheaper alternative locations across Europe, Ctrip made the decision to commit in the long-term to Scotland as they placed great value on the region’s renowned R&D expertise, entrepreneurial ecosystem and skilled workforce.
Significant investment has led to sustained growth and employment opportunities for Edinburgh and the surrounding region. There are 127 people currently working in Ctrip’s Edinburgh centre and this is set to increase to more than 240 with the addition of numerous new customer service, operational, legal, finance and HR roles. Ctrip has a strong commitment to up skilling its workforce and all employees are given up to three months of comprehensive training as part of their professional development.
Exporter of the Year – Wood.
Wood is a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to the energy and industrial markets. The company’s involvement with China stretches back to the early 1930s, but a permanent presence was established there in 1992.
In the past 12 months Wood has been working with Chinese organisations to deliver multi-million pound projects in the Oil & Gas and Nuclear sectors in China, UK and third-country markets. These include exporting subsea technical support to gas development in the South China Sea and being part of the integrated project management team responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the SINOPEC Shanghai Ethylene Cracker Complex plant.
With Chinese nuclear, mining and renewables companies seeking new export markets overseas, Wood is well positioned to enter into long-term strategic collaborations in China and around the world. Through its on-going success, Wood is making valuable contributions to Scotland-China business relations in terms of technology, innovation, finance and sustainability.
China Welcome of the Year – Rabbie’s Trail Burners
Established in 1993 in Edinburgh, Rabbie’s has grown from a ‘1-man, 1-van’ business to providing award-winning, small-group tours across Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Rabbie’s have responded to strong growth in Chinese visitors by creating a number of China-specific offerings. These include a new mandarin live-guided tour to Loch Ness, which has gone from being run once fortnightly to twice weekly within the space of a year. Rabbie’s are particularly proud of their innovative ‘first-of-its-kind’ GPS-triggered audio app, which provides commentary and local tales in Mandarin to enhance the overall experience.
Rabbie’s are active social media users and use the key Chinese channels WeChat, Weibo and Youku to engage with visitors. It is very much a two way process and the feedback collected drives continual learning and improvement. All Rabbie’s staff receive in-depth China training and the company has been working hard to extend cultural awareness to their suppliers to ensure that Chinese guests enjoy a seamless experience.
Ivan McKee, Trade Minister, said
: “Scotland and China have a long-established and important trading relationship. This event not only looks to celebrate this historical connection but to welcome the new cultural, educational and business opportunities that continue to develop between our two countries. I am delighted to be part of these celebrations and I look forward to working to help facilitate even more trade and investment opportunities in the future.”
Michael Hill-King, Collaboration Director of Huawei, said:
“Huawei is proud to be associated with the China Scotland Business Awards and to be sponsoring the Innovation in Education Award as part of our commitment to Scotland. ”
Peter Mileham, General Manager of Trip.com, said
: “On behalf of Trip.com and Ctrip Group, it is an honour to receive this prestigious award. Thank you to the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and to all the sponsors and event partners. As China’s leading travel service provider, Ctrip has been an important platform for Chinese travellers to Scotland, promoting exchange between China and Scotland. By investing in Skyscanner in 2016 and opening our first 24 hour operating overseas customer service center in Edinburgh last year, we hope to continue to build on this strong foundation and provide enhanced travel services for all of our customers’ needs.”
James Brodie, Director of Scotland & Northern Ireland of China-Britain Business Council said
: “The momentum in Scotland for doing business with China right now is palpable. We’ve never had such a large audience for the Chinese Burns Supper, which create a buzzing atmosphere for the awards ceremony. The quality of applications was extremely high once again: congratulations to all those that took part and we look forward to working with any companies inspired by their success to engage with the opportunities that are currently there to do business with China.”
Sponsors & Partners
CBBC would like to thank our sponsors and partners: Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Business Insider, Huawei and Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot Watt University
About the China-Britain Business Council
The China-Britain Business Council (“CBBC”) helps British and Chinese businesses and organizations work together in China, the UK and third markets around the world. With over 60 years' experience and experts in 11 UK offices and 15 Chinese locations, operates alongside the British Chamber of Commerce in China, and are strategic partners of the British Government. Its diverse 1,000-strong membership includes some of the UK’s largest and most established companies, many of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative SMEs, as well as leading Chinese firms.
China-Britain Business Council Media Contacts
T: +44 (0)207 802 2013