Visit to China develops GREAT partnerships

Leeds City Region takes business delegation to China as part of the UK Government’s Britain is GREAT Campaign.

19 March 2020

Leeds City Region took a delegation of 12 representatives to China from 13-17 June 2016, led by David Shepherd, Director of Trade and Investment.

The outbound visit formed part of Leeds City Regions programme of partnership activity which falls under the Prime Minister's Britain is GREAT campaign and is designed to extend relationships in China and raise awareness of Leeds City Region's economic strengths and investment opportunities.

Visiting Shanghai and Hangzhou, the programme included numerous meetings with intermediaries, and. potential investors. The region also hosted a number of roundtable events with major investment groups to showcase specific investment opportunities. Additionally, the programme included a number of investment showcase events, developed in partnership with high profile alumni from the region's universities. The delegation also met key government officials from the City of Hangzhou to discuss the commercialisation of the long-standing Civic links between Leeds and Hangzhou.

The delegation included representatives from the LEP, Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, Leeds City Council, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, University of Bradford, international law firm Addleshaw Goddard and China Travel Outbound.

David Shepherd, Director of Trade and Investment, LEP commented:

"The UK has become the most popular destination for Chinese investment in Europe with £1.25bn invested in 2015. As the UK's second largest city region we wish to explore how we can leverage our valued civic relationships to develop more productive commercial links with China.

We are delighted to be taking a strong delegation to showcase the overall strengths of the Leeds City Region. We will meet a range of investors and businesses who are considering future overseas expansion and investment opportunities and communicate the commercial opportunities and competitive advantages we have to offer.

The Chinese economy is evolving at a phenomenal scale and speed. This visit will allow us to get a real insight into the Chinese economy and how we can work more effectively with China."

Leeds City Region's GREAT UK Challenge Fund programme has been delivered in collaboration with a number of key partners, including Visit Leeds, Visit Huddersfield, Visit Bradford, the City Region's Universities, the City Region's local authorities, Deloitte, thebigword, Addleshaw Goddard, and Leeds Bradford Airport.

The delegation are travelling to China from Leeds Bradford Airport, taking advantage of the onward connectivity offered via Amsterdam Schiphol with KLM and London Heathrow with British Airways to easily and quickly reach long-haul business destinations.