Leeds City Region leaders visit China and Hong Kong to reinforce civic commitments

Leeds City Region Leaders led a delegation of senior government, business, and university representatives to the Chinese cities of Hangzhou, Qingdao and Hong Kong in 2018 to strengthen relationships with key Chinese partners and build trade and investment links.

19 March 2020

Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake and Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council are visiting the Chinese cities of Hangzhou, Qingdao and Hong Kong to build on long-standing government to government relationships and capitalise on existing trade agreements. Also joining them are representatives from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Bradford Council, the University of Bradford, the University of Leeds, the University of Huddersfield and businesses including TPP, Munroe K, Group Rhodes, East Street Arts and ConnectChina.

The delegation will visit the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce retailer NetEase Kaola.com. This meeting will build upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2017, and explore new avenues to bring Leeds City Region products to the Far East market and help meet demand for high quality British products. Meetings will also be held with Alibaba, Dahua, Hisense, China-Britain Industrial Innovation Park and Cyberport in Hong Kong.

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

"This trade and investment mission will build on our long and prestigious relationships with our Chinese partners. Earlier this week we saw a hugely positive outcome of this activity with the announcement that Hangzhou-based Dahua, makers of video surveillance equipment, are opening an office in Leeds. They join Hisense which has its UK HQ in Leeds and Silver Cross owner Fosun. We want to encourage more investment and trade between our cities."

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Kirklees Council said:

"I'm delighted representatives from Huddersfield-based ConnectChina and the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre are part of this delegation. I look forward to positioning our region with Chinese decision-makers as a source of high quality, innovative British-made products."

Nicola Greenan, external relations director at East Street Arts, who is part of the delegation said:

"It's great to be involved with the visit to China and Hong Kong and I'm really excited to talk to businesses, education institutions and other organisations about our work and specifically, our plans to introduce a dedicated Arts and Tech Hub to the region based in Mabgate, Leeds. It will also be interesting to see what's happening in China, from a creative and business perspective. I hope the visit will spark some exciting collaborations in the near future."

James Devitt, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre Business Development Manager, the University of Huddersfield who is also part of the delegation said:

"The University of Huddersfield is delighted to be participating in the Leeds City Region delegation to China and Hong Kong this September. The University has extremely close links with China and Hong Kong and is looking to build new opportunities to collaborate. The University of Huddersfield is also particularly pleased to be given the opportunity to discuss the potential for collaboration with Chinese and Hong Kong partners relating to our research strengths in textile engineering and chemistry; railway research; and industrial digital technologies including advanced metrology, analytics and AI."