Great China Debate Success (Flickr)
More than 70 business leaders gathered for Liverpool Vision’s ‘It’s Liverpool In China’ event on 18 July.
The networking breakfast, entitled, ‘The Great Debate: Challenges and Opportunities in China’ was held at HSBC offices on Castle Street with Insider Editor Chris Maguire as Chair.
A high profile panel included Terry Dolan of Dolan Bikes who has made bikes for the British and Irish Olympic cycling teams, Ian Meadows, OBE, Chairman of RS Clare, Cllr Nick Small and Martin Simpson, Associate Director, Arup.
All the panellists gave a fascinating, first-hand insight based on their experiences of dealing with China. Terry Dolan both sources product and sells his bikes there whilst Ian Meadows explained that RS Clare operates on three fronts in China - rail, high friction surfacing as well as oil and gas. He highlighted the cultural barriers and length of time it took to penetrate the Chinese markets but also told the audience:
“Quite frankly you would be mad not to ignore the huge opportunities out there. It’s the world’s largest economy and the Liverpool brand is widely recognised and viewed with respect. “
Martin Simpson, Associate Director of Arup spent last year working in the company’s Shanghai office. A structural engineer by background he specialises in stadia design and complex geometry and talked about his work on the ‘Bird’s Nest ‘- China’s National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.
Cllr Nick Small gave a positive view on Liverpool’s prospects for increased trading in China. He said: “The City is firmly committed to providing businesses with the support they need to capitalise on the massive potential generated on the back of the Shanghai Expo and we’ve seen today some great examples of what can be achieved in China with the right approach.”
The event was supported by the Commercial District BID and stimulated some lively discussion with delegates providing very positive feedback.
HSBC Area Commercial Director Rikki Griffiths welcomed guests. He said: “We are delighted to be lending our support to this powerful and influential network. It’s been a really stimulating and enjoyable event which no doubt will have generated a lot of new ideas and productive discussion.”
Nicola Harris, investment and international manager at Liverpool Vision, added: "The effects of World Expo will be felt for a long time, not only through the deals that are being done and yet-to-be-done by our businesses and the increased interest in Liverpool in trading with China, but also because of the initiatives Liverpool and our partners have in place.
"Peel, for example, has secured £25m of investment for their International Trade Centre in Wirral through Expo, which is one of three key sites for the International Festival of Business in 2014, when the strength of our collective Chinese relationships will be evident.
“Liverpool Vision, working with others, is continually developing its international strategy and we are keen to receive feedback from companies to help shape and drive the activity of 'It's Liverpool in China' “
If you would like to get involved with the 300+ strong ‘ It’s Liverpool in China’ network and find out how you benefit from the support, events and information available please email firstname.lastname@example.org