CBBC Met Vice Premier HU Chunhua at Expo Central China
The China-Britain Business Council, together with a group of member companies, met with Vice Premier HU Chunhua during the Central China Expo in Taiyuan.
The meeting took place during the Expo's second day, providing members an audience with Vice Premier HU Chunhua - a member of the Politburo with a portfolio including EU-China affairs - to provide recommendations and discuss opportunities for UK companies to expand the scale and scope of their business in China.
Vice Premier HU hosted the meeting and in attendance from the China side were:
GAO Gao, Deputy Secretary General, National Development & Reform Commission;
XU Nanping, Vice Minister, Ministry of Science & Technology;
LIU Liehong, Vice Minister, Ministry of Industry & Information Technology;
LI Hainan, Deputy Director General, the Department of Economic Construction;
LIU Huanxin, Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs;
WANG Shouwen, Vice Minister & Deputy China International Trade Representative;
GUO Yanhong, an official from the National Health Commission’s Medical Administration & Supervision Department;
TANG Jun, Deputy Director, State Administration for Market Regulation;
LIN Wu, Governor, Shanxi Province;
LU Dongliang, Vice Governor, Shanxi Province.
During the meeting, the Vice Premier sought to assure attendees that "China remains committed to further opening up and that China will also continue to work to improve our business environment and values the suggestions put forward by foreign business."
CBBC members, Jaguar Land Rover, InterContinental Hotels Group, and AstraZeneca joined the meeting, during which the British car marque outlined its aims and intentions for the market going forward.
Vice Premier HU asked the Ministries attending to take a close look at the recommendations shared by the businesses present and work to address the problems.
Following the meeting, Tom Simpson, CBBC's Managing Director and Chief Representative in China, said: "British business remains committed to the Chinese market and hold a long-term view for their investments here. Today's meeting was an ideal opportunity to reinforce this message and receive feedback from Vice Premier HU and the Vice Ministers in attendance on the suggestions raised."
On the first day of the Expo, members also met with the Governor of Shanxi province, LIN Wu and the Vice Governor of Hubei province, ZHAO Haishan.
Companies from across a wide range of sectors have identified Central China as an important domestic emerging market. As such, there was keen interest from members to put forward their plans to invest further in Shanxi and Hubei.
During the meeting, the Governor of Shanxi province, LIN Wu, outlined the provinces' capability in energy production and its ambition to adapt away from a focus on the energy industry to advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries. Governor LIN also updated members on Shanxi's plans to achieve carbon neutrality and expressed his desire that British businesses work closely with their Shanxi-based counterparts to achieve this goal.
Vice Governor of Hubei Province, ZHAO Haishan, highlighted Hubei's favourable position in Central China as an investment destination, citing the fact that the volume of imports from the UK increased by 60% last year; exports from Hubei to the UK increased by 90%. Based on this strong foundation, Vice Governor ZHAO expressed his desire for Hubei Province to collaborate more with UK firms, especially in pursuit of carbon neutrality. He updated members on the province's plans in this regard, mentioning that Hubei is currently formulating its strategy to manage its transition to net-zero and that its carbon emission trading market will open in June.
Concluding two days of valuable government engagement, Duncan Clark, Chair of CBBC's China Committee, said "CBBC is pleased to lead a 33-delegates of 13 UK companies formed business delegation visit Shanxi, which is hosting the 12th Expo Central China. The companies represent various sectors including automobile (Jaguar Land Rover), healthcare (AstraZeneca), finance (standard chartered bank), education (Pearson), energy (bp), Mining (RMI Pressure Systems), Tourism (IGH Group), water (Modern Water) and Professional Services (Dentons Law Firm). They are all eager to explore the emerging business opportunities in Shanxi. He believes Shanxi and UK companies will get a win-win outcome for engaging the excited transformation process of Shanxi province."