As the UK prepares to leave Europe, the question of whether this is right time to further strengthen its relationship with China has been posed, resulting in the University of Northampton hosting a one-day conference looking at the impact Chinese investment has on the UK economy.
Less than a year ago, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne boasted of the UK’s ‘golden era’ with China as a key investor and strategic partner. Now just a few months after the UK voted to leave the EU, the Chinese Ambassador has warned that Sino-UK relations are at a ‘historical juncture’, in light of the newly formed UK Government delaying the Hinckley nuclear project which has had a lot of Chinese investment.
With so many questions focusing on how the UK can continue its relationship with China post-Brexit the University of Northampton’s conference, which takes place on Friday 16 September, will address these issues and to help inform business practices and policy-making. Organised by the University’s China and Emerging Economy Centre (CEEC) and partially funded by the British Academy, the conference is aimed at local businesses, policy-makers and academics and delegates will have the opportunity to hear from some leading experts in the field, including:
- Minister Counsellor Mr Xu Jin at the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in London
- Mr Gordon Luo, Chief Executive of Huawei (UK), the biggest Chinese employer in the UK,
- Dr Tony Bannan, CEO of Precision Technologies Group,
- Stephen Catchpole, CEO of SEMLEP
Dr Shaowei He, Director of CEEC at the University of Northampton, commented: “This is a timely event for anyone who is concerned with the future of UK-China trade and investment It is a rare opportunity to hear insights from business leaders, policy makers and academic experts on an important issue and surely people will not be disappointed by the sharing and exchange of different views and perspectives.
“Given the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote, it seems sensible to establish stronger relationship with non-European countries particularly for trade and investment. China, being the second largest economy and the second biggest global investor only after the US, will no doubt feature prominently in Britain’s future global trade and investment relationships and play an important role in shaping the future UK economy. Northamptonshire has already attracted significant investment from China, this conference will help will help local businesses to further engage with Chinese businesses and investment and maximise the associated benefit.”