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University builds business links with China in preparation for Brexit

Date 20.12.2018

The University of Northampton has helped facilitate two ‘significant’ local business agreements between Northamptonshire Borough Council and China – as the UK gears up for Brexit.

Two Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) were recently signed between Northamptonshire and Dalian, China – to develop economic, commercial and cultural exchange between the two regions.

The MOUs were signed following a presentation from a Northamptonshire consortium, backed by the University, at an important Regional Leaders’ Summit in Dalian.

The Northampton consortium present at the summit consisted of senior Borough and County Council members as well as Chris Zachar, senior executive at Silverstone Circuit and key representatives from the University’s China and Emerging Economies Centre (CEEC), Professor Shaowei He and Adrian Pryce.

The CEEC has been working with the Borough and County Councils and local businesses – including Silverstone Circuit – to build potential trade and investment links with China based on the fast-growing Chinese motorsport and automotive sectors.

Professor Shaowei He, Director of CEEC, said: “China is arguably the world’s largest economy today and would become even more important in a post-Brexit world. Over the last few years CEEC has been facilitating trade and investment links between China and the UK, focusing on high technology sectors such as motorsports. We have a keen interest in helping local businesses including Silverstone Circuits Limited to identify and materialise opportunities in China. We have achieved an important milestone by signing these MOUs. They would help to strengthen Northampton’s civic relationship with Chinese local authorities but also open the door in China for Northampton businesses. ”

Chris Zachar, head of partnerships at Silverstone Circuits Limited (SCL), said: “We are keen to explore opportunities to bring our unrivalled expertise and experience to the Asian market place.  The University has helped not only Silverstone Circuit, but the wider Northants community to both identify opportunities and ensure that ongoing dialogue is conducted effectively and in a culturally respectable manner.

“Our goal is to continue to support and work with the University to move opportunities forward, using the skills and knowledge that lie within the CEEC, with the aim that we can open up new revenue opportunities for SCL, as well as grow our already significant community.”

For more information on the CEEC, please visit the website.

*Pictured above – Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Northampton Borough Council (seated, left) signs on behalf of Northampton, watched by the Mayor of Dalian (standing second from far left) and Christina Scott, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy, China (second from right).