Indeed, China and the UK face many of the same challenges: rebuilding economic growth while making the transition to Net Zero, dealing with technological change, and addressing growing disparities in regional economic development.

Business links and trade and investment have a key role to play in tackling these challenges, through the investment, technology, and expertise they mobilise helping to accelerate the transition to a greener economy, catalyse innovation, and tackle regional inequalities. 


2:00pm - 2:30pm: Arrival and Registration

2:30pm - 2:45pm: Opening Remarks

  • Matt Jackson - Head of UK-China Business, KPMG UK
  • Consul General Tang Rui - Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester   
  • Anson Bailey - Head of Consumer & Retail, Asia Pacific, KPMG Hong Kong 

2:45pm - 3:40pm: Plenary Session


  • Andrew Seaton, Chief Executive, China-Britain Business Council


  • Rhys Whalley - Executive Director, Manchester China Forum 
  • Simon Boyd - Managing Director, Strategy Network
  • Gillian Drakeford, MBE - Non-Executive Director focused on consumer businesses retailing franchising and international establishment
  • Paul Stowers - Head of Partnerships, Northern Powerhouse, Department for Business & Trade

3:45pm - 4:00pm: Coffee Break and Move to Breakout Rooms

4:00pm - 4:50pm: Thematic Breakouts x 3

Consumer / Food and Drink:


  • Antoaneta Becker – Director, Consumer Economy, China-Britain Business Council  

Panellists and Case Study speakers:  

  • Sue Judd - Founder, Everything Dinosaur 
  • Alex Makino Farrell - Export Manager, Forrest Fresh Foods
  • Stew Wilson - China Business Development Manager, Vitabiotics

Healthcare and Medical Devices:


  • Elinor Greenhouse - Senior Adviser, Tech and Innovation, China-Britain Business Council 

Net Zero Opportunities:


  • James Brodie - Director, Industrial Economy, China-Britain Business Council   

5:00pm - 6:00pm: Networking  

6:00pm: End of Event


Register here


Opening Remarks 


Consul General Tang Rui - Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Manchester

Born in 1970 in Hubei Province, China, Consul General Tang Rui graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University in 1992 and has been engaged in diplomatic work for over 30 years. With extensive diplomatic experience, prior to assuming the role of Chinese Consul General in Manchester, he has worked in various positions including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Information Department, the Consulate General in New York, the Embassy in the UK, the Commissioner’s Office in Hong Kong SAR, the Embassy in Malaysia, and the Office of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Sichuan Province.  



Anson Bailey, Head of Consumer & Retail, ASPAC, KPMG

Anson joined KPMG in Hong Kong in 1999 and is currently a Partner based in the Hong Kong office heading up the Consumer & Retail Practice in the ASPAC region. He is part of the KPMG Global Consumer & Retail Steering Group as well as being a member of the Global Technology Innovation Centre.

Anson has been active in driving a number of thought leadership reports and executive briefings for senior executives covering innovation and consumers in China and across Asia. He has worked with many corporates to understand the complex markets we live in and current levels of disruption being seen with recent reports including Global Mobile Payments, Consumers & Convergence, Mobilizing Innovation: The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies, The Rise of the Digital Multi-tasker, Be a Smarter Start-up, MNCs in China, Made in China 2025, China’s Connected Consumers, Global Connected Consumers, Connecting Hong Kong – Perspectives on our future as a smart city, Connected Cities – insights across the ASPAC region and The Changing Face of Commerce series.
Today, he not only mentors the next generation of go-to-market professionals at KPMG but continues to work with a growing number of C-level executives as a trusted advisor in providing the best in client innovation whilst acting as the Lead Partner for a number of strategic accounts in both the consumer and technology arena across the Asia Pacific region.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events around the globe and has completed his Executive Masters in Technology & Innovation with the Poly University as well as the MIT Executive Leadership & Innovation Program.


Plenary Session 







Andrew Seaton, Chief Executive, China-Britain Business Council

Prior to joining CBBC, Andrew was Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong from 2015-2020, and also served as an Independent Non Executive Director for Wharf REIC Ltd during this time.

He was formerly a member of the UK Diplomatic Service spending much of his career working on UK-China relations, including postings to the Embassy in Beijing, as Head of the China Department in the FCO, and as British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao. Andrew was educated at the University of Leeds and Beijing University.








Rhys Whalley, Executive Director at Manchester-China Forum

Rhys is the Executive Director of the Manchester China Forum which is focused on building Greater Manchester’s long-term commercial links with China. Some of its primary objectives include increasing Chinese investment into the region, growing trade and export activity and improving awareness and engagement around Greater Manchester’s educational research excellence.

As China becomes an increasingly dominant force in twenty-first century global trade, Rhys believes that it is of paramount importance for Greater Manchester to set in place a clear strategy which allows for nurturing long-term and sustainable relationships with the country.

From his previous position as the Head of Business Development and China Desk at the International property-firm Jones Lang LaSalle in Beijing, and former Business Manager for the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China; Rhys has brought a wealth of experience to lead the Forum in realising these objectives.

As an advanced-level speaker of Mandarin, Rhys has worked in China for almost nine years. He believes, with conviction, in the potential of progressing economic and cultural connectivity between China and Manchester.








Simon Boyd, Managing Director at Strategy Network 

Simon Boyd grew Smoothskin (, a British beauty device brand from a small, niche, business to the Number 1 brand in its category worldwide. The driver of this growth was China, where he established a partnership that took Smoothskin from entering the Chinese market through to market leadership in 3 years, delivering over USD 150 million of 
retail sales in China, in 2020.

Simon now runs Strategy Network, his own consultancy working with innovative, product led businesses. His focus is on formulating and then implementing international growth strategies. His current Clients include ISmart (, the world leader in LED Phototherapy in Medical devices, for use in the home, and Vypr (, an innovative SAAS business, that allows Investors, consultants, brands and product businesses to get almost immediate feedback on new products and services, from a panel of 70000 UK consumers.

Other recent clients include Current Body, the world’s leading beauty device retailer, Paingone, a business focussed on reducing pain without the use of drugs, and Lumity, a supplements business with a clinically proven formula to reduce the signs of ageing.
Simon has spent the last 15 years working in businesses with an international focus, delivering profitable growth across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America and is enthusiastic about building export lead businesses in the United Kingdom.

Simon is a father to three energetic boys and is passionate about community sport, He is a long-standing supporter of Manchester United and more recently, Macclesfield FC. 







Gillian Drakeford, MBE, Non-Executive Director focused on consumer businesses retailing franchising and international establishmen

Gillian has extensive experience working internationally for the IKEA Group as a CEO and Board Director in Asia, Europe and the UK. As Head of Global Retail Experience she led the transformation and development of IKEA’s omnichannel experience.

With her passion and interest in consumers and curiosity for developing markets Gillian lived and worked in Hong Kong and China for 15 years. As CEO in China she led the establishment of the brand through accessibility, market relevance and customer and employee engagement. 
Acknowledged as a strong and visionary leader with an aptitude for translating strategy into reality through storytelling. Gillian connects and engages people enabling them to contribute securing growth of people and business.

Gillian has a passion for diversity and inclusion and has been directly responsible for the development of  international senior leaders for IKEA. Gillian is developing a plural career and works as a Non-Executive Director for the Trust Alliance Group. Advisor to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Good Employment Charter and Chair of Back on Track a Manchester based charity. 








Paul Stowers, Head of Partnerships, Northern Powerhouse, Department for Business & Trade

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) supports businesses to develop their international sales. We engage with businesses of all sizes, across all sectors.  We help first time exporters with their exporting strategy and work with existing exporters to enter new markets.

After graduating in law at Oxford University, Paul first worked in the Commercial Department at British Coal Corporation’s London HQ, before switching to international trade work.  He now has over 30 years’ business support experience with DBT, including 10 years as an International Trade Adviser, 3 years promoting trade with South Korea, and a short posting in China.  Paul has been working in the North West Region for a number of years and is now Head of Partnerships in the Northern Powerhouse.  

Breakout Sessions: Consumer







Moderator: Antoaneta Becker, Director, Consumer Economy, China-Britain Business Council

Antoaneta has lived and worked in China for more than 20 years. In her most recent role as a Director, Consumer Economy for the China Britain Business Council, she has supported numerous British consumer companies entering and expanding into the Chinese market.

Prior to joining CBBC, she worked as a Beijing-based reporter for several international media publications including the Economist Intelligence Unit and USA Today, covering China’s economic and social affairs. She has reported on some of the main trends and policies that have defined China’s economic trajectory over the years 2000-2010 including China’s stateowned enterprises reforms, the emergence of free trade zones, the rise of digital economy and the ascendence of the Chinese consumer.

Antoaneta is a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker. She holds a Bachelor’s in Chinese Language and Literature and a Master’s in Chinese Contemporary Literature & Film from Peking University.


sue judd

Sue Judd, Founder, Everything Dinosaur 

Sue Judd is one of the founders of Everything Dinosaur, an award-winning, business to consumer, Cheshire based mail order company that specialises in the sale of dinosaurs. Not “Jurassic Park”, but their core business is museum quality scale model replicas of prehistoric animals.

Nicknamed “Tyrannosaurus Sue”, as financial director and head of procurement she has been responsible for the establishment of partnerships with global suppliers – including key partners in China. Her company has recently expanded and now plays an integral role in helping develop new product lines for the collectables market.

Everything Dinosaur has customers in over 100 countries and Sue also manages wholesale operations, liaising with retailers and third-party sellers. In between balancing the budgets, product development and office administration, Sue has gained considerable insight into relationship management through the supply chain. She also knows a little bit about dinosaurs too!

Sue is currently working on a manufacturing project examining the possibilities of introducing their own range of dinosaur figures: “made in Britain – sold to the world”.

sue judd

Alex Makino-Farrell, Export Manager, Forrest Fresh Foods 

Alex Makino-Farrell is an Export Manager for Forrest Fresh Foods – one of the largest FMCG wholesalers in the UK. A fluent Mandarin speaker, he is specifically responsible for the Chinese market. His career to date has involved Customs, IP enforcement and business advisory, with China a constant theme. Alex holds a BA (Hons) in Chinese Studies from Durham University and a MSc in Operations & Supply Chain Management from the University of Liverpool. 


sue judd

Stew Wilson, China Business Development Manager, Vitabiotics.

Stew Wilson is China Business Development Manager for the UK's top nutritional supplement company, Vitabiotics. Helping to lead the brand's relatively mature Chinese operations, his responsibilities encompass: sales, strategy, cross-cultural communication, marketing, and distribution management. 

Like many, Stew's journey in China began in the English classroom. Before long, he fell in love with the local culture and language, learning to speak Mandarin at a high-degree of fluency. After four years in the middle kingdom, he returned to the UK and started a Mandarin video-marketing business. Vitabiotics was his best customer."

Breakout Sessions: Healthcare







Moderator: Elinor Greenhouse, Senior Adviser, Tech and Innovation, China-Britain Business Council

As sector lead for Tech and Innovation, Elinor is responsible for supporting British tech and healthcare companies entering and operating within the Chinese market and leads on CBBC's engagement for intellectual property matters and export licensing regulation. 

Prior to joining CBBC, Elinor lived in China for eight years, where she worked as an intellectual property strategist advising international companies on IP strategy in China. Elinor is a fluent Mandarin speaker, and has previously translated for academic journals in the fields of Economics and Law. She holds a Bachelor’s in Law from The University of Sheffield and a Master’s in Chinese Law from Peking University, where she focused her research on the use of AI within China’s smart courts.

Breakout Sessions: Green Technologies/Net Zero







Moderator: James Brodie, Commercial Director, Industrial Economy, China-Britain Business Council

A fluent speaker of Mandarin, James returned from working in China in July 2012 where he had held positions in a variety of sectors, ranging from contemporary art, through to education and latterly petro-chemicals. James lived in Beijing from 2006-2012 but has travelled extensively on business throughout China, serving as an interpreter and cultural adviser to foreign companies, a role he has also performed for Chinese companies ‘going global’.

Over the past 10 years, James has supported annual energy sector missions in both directions, in particular in offshore energy. James leads CBBC’s Targeting Net Zero programme of activity and oversees its work across the whole industrial economy, as well its regional events in Scotland.

James has a BA (Hons) in Chinese Studies from the University of Sheffield. James is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.