Guangzhou conference builds on Chinese Premier’s visit

By on 28/06/2011 in News

Less than one week after hosting a landmark visit to Birmingham by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby  will this Friday (1st July) meet business leaders, academics and government representatives from Birmingham's sister city of Guangzhou.

The 'New Guangzhou, New Business Opportunities' conference at the ICC has been organised by the Vice-Mayor of the People's Government of Guangzhou Municipality, and the University of Birmingham to explore further strengthening business and economic ties between the two cities.

Cllr Whitby said: “Over the past seven years we have invested heavily in fostering strong relations with the Chinese and now, as events of this week prove, are really seeing a return on this investment with Birmingham firmly establishing itself as the UK's premier economic partner to the China.  

Offering a unique opportunity to explore investment potential in Guangzhou, more than 110 senior officials and business leaders from the third largest city in mainland China will meet UK delegates at this major exhibition and networking event.

Exhibitors from Guangzhou's nine city districts and five industry development zones will be showcasing new business ventures emerging from the extensive reform of industry and business structure in the city of Guangzhou. A wide range of sectors including arts and culture, health and medicine, science, technology, IT, research and development and advanced manufacturing will be represented. 

The conference will also feature presentation sessions, one-to-one meetings and consultations to develop new areas of engagement. Selected business leaders will also participate in an executive forum at the event sharing previous experiences of China/UK engagement activities and discussing the potential to foster new areas of collaboration.  Following the conference, the Guangzhou delegates will visit the University of Birmingham campus to see relevant key research areas.

The University of Birmingham is one of the most engaged British universities with China and is ranked in the top three in the UK for the number of joint publications with Chinese collaborators. Guangzhou has been a sister city of Birmingham since 2006 and has a history of collaborating with Birmingham in a range of different areas, most notably health and social sciences.

Professor Edward Peck, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham, commented:  “This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Birmingham-Guangzhou sister city relationship and the University has ever-deepening links with the city.  We are delighted to welcome such a large and high-profile delegation to Birmingham for what is set to be a very productive day.  The University of Birmingham is extremely proud of its partnership with Guangzhou and would encourage others to attend the conference to find out more about what the city has to offer.”

Vice Mayor of Guangzhou Gong Erzhen said: “Guangzhou attaches great importance to friendship and cooperation with the UK.  We have established sister city ties with Birmingham and Bristol.  In 2010, the foreign trade volume between Guangzhou and the UK reached $1.4 billion USD.  Guangzhou presents new business opportunities for cooperation and development.  Guangzhou will remain open and cooperative and push forward cooperation with all parts of the world from this new starting point.”

'New Guangzhou, New Business Opportunities' is taking place on Friday 1 July 2011 from 9.30am - 2pm at the ICC, Birmingham. This event is open to the public and free to attend, however registration is required. To register, please complete the registration form available at the event website: and send it to:

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