Business leaders and academics from the region joined counterparts from China to discuss the economy at a forum held at the University of Chester.
Almost 30 delegates from China attended the event at the Queen’s Park campus, home to the university’s Business School. It was chaired by Dr Fran Hulbert, chairman of the University Business Advisory Council and Professor Phil Harris of the university’s Business Research Institute.
Speakers included the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Tim Wheeler and Guy Butler, chairman of the Chester Growth Partnership, with sessions covering a review of the economy, politics, international economy and partnerships with China; reflections on developing business and entrepreneurship in China and the UK: exports, investments, tourism trends and issues; and an open panel session to explore potential collaboration and sharing experiences in developing business between the two countries.
Delegates included Philip Cox, chief executive of the Cheshire and Warrington; Professor Jinbo Zhou, vice-dean of Economics and Management School, Guanxi Normal University, Guillin; Katrina Michel, chief executive officer Marketing Cheshire; and Colin Brew, chief executive officer West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.
The forum was set up as part of the UK and China Business: The Marco Polo Initiative and Belt Road Initiative (BRI) which was launched in October 2016 at Beijing Foreign Studies University in collaboration with the University of Chester to aid dialogue on key issues that impact on trade and public affairs communication between Europe and China and is focused on links between the two.
Professor Phil Harris said: “This was the largest Chester Forum we’ve ever hosted and it was very encouraging to welcome the group from China. We discussed the economy and international trade as well as increasing business links between the two countries. Two companies set up direct links during the forum itself which is a fantastic success.”