A major delegation of Chinese businesses arrives in the North West this week looking for UK companies to trade with.
The delegation, from the South West China city of Kunming, is staging a trade and investment seminar in Liverpool with the explicit aim of seeking business partners.
The seminar, being led by the Vice Mayor of fast-growing Kunming, which is in Yunnan province, will provide businesses with an oversight of investment and partnership opportunities.
The Kunming delegation is particularly keen to meet businesses operating in the creative, healthcare and regeneration sectors, including architects and urban designers, but emphasise that there are opportunities for businesses from all sectors.
The delegation to Liverpool follows the signing of a Friendship Partnership Agreement between the two cities that will see them building on existing ties and working together to create a positive, mutually beneficial relationship.
The agreement is the result of dialogue between the Vice Mayor of Kunming Municipal Government, Zhao Xuenong, and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson in Chengdu in September 2015.
The Kunming delegation is also staging a VIP reception and an exhibition of Kunming culture in Liverpool city centre during the three-day visit.
The trade and investment seminar, which takes place on Thursday June 30 at the International Festival for Business 2016, is free to attend and places can be booked via Eventbrite.
Vice Mayor Zhao Xuenong said: “Our visit to Liverpool reflects our very positive relationship with the city and desire to create new business opportunities for companies both here and in Kunming.
“We believe there are significant opportunities for British companies to sell their services and products to clients in Kunming and opportunities, also, for joint investment projects and partnership working.
“Liverpool City Region’s strengths in the creative and digital sector, in urbanisation and in healthcare make it a very attractive proposition for our delegates.”
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Kunming is one of the most dynamic city regions in China and is regarded as a gateway to South West China and the wider South East Asia region.
“Alongside the opportunities to further our trade links with China, there is fantastic potential to share and explore each other’s diverse cultural heritage, creating a rich, vibrant dialogue and positive exchange of ideas.
“We’re excited at the prospect of welcoming the Kunming delegation to Liverpool for the International Festival for Business 2016 and look forward continuing to develop our relationship over the coming years.”
Ellen Cutler, Director of Invest Liverpool, said: “We see our relationship with China as a key element in Liverpool’s future growth and the strengthening ties with Kunming are immensely important.
“We will be working together to deliver sustainable economic and community benefits by collaborating on a broad range of activities including trade and investment, science and technology, culture, education, and tourism.
“There will also be opportunities for collaboration and trade and investment in key economic sectors including healthcare, life sciences, green energy and technology.”