Harnessing the power of China: How to leverage your constituency’s strengths? The example of Worcestershire

Date: Wednesday, 25th February 2015
Time: 14.00-15.00
Venue: Committee Room 12, House of Commons

Chaired by Robin Walker MP (APPCG Vice Chair for Locality Partnerships)

  • Phil Dutton (Former Chairman of the Worcestershire Ambassadors, MD of Handelsbanken Worcester)
  • Frankie Tsang (Chairman of Worcestershire Chinese Association)
  • Stewart Ferguson (West Midlands Representative and Head of Research and Consultancy for the China-Britain Business Council)

Every single constituency stands to benefit from increased trade with China. Areas like Bristol and Birmingham have had well documented success on this front, but for smaller regions it can be difficult to know where to start. Worcestershire, a relatively small county of half a million people, alongside its County town of Worcester, have bucked this trend.

The “Worcestershire Ambassadors” have led multiple trade delegations to China, most recently in November 2014, and they are in the process of signing Sister City agreements with two cities in south and south-east China: Hezhou and Huizhou, both home to more than 1 million people.

In the light of these recent successes, the story of how Worcestershire is leveraging its local tourism, business, and education to make lasting inroads into China is one which has great relevance for all UK cities and counties. For example, Worcester has built on links between the city’s university and the provincial governments of Guangxi & Guangdong provinces to go on and establish closer ties across a range of areas.