Building links with China

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Cornwall has hosted the first official visit from the Chinese Embassy’s trade minister to showcase the trading opportunities on offer in the Duchy.

Zhou Xiaoming, Chinese economic and commercial minister and councillor, led a delegation of five from the embassy on a tour of Cornwall after specifically requesting a visit.

Chinese economic and commercial minister and councillor Zhou Xiaoming (centre) with members of the delegation from the Chinese Embassy and staff at the Tregothnan Estates
Chinese economic and commercial minister and councillor Zhou Xiaoming (centre) with members of the delegation from the Chinese Embassy and staff at the Tregothnan Estates

Mr Zhou, who has worked at the Chinese Embassy in London for the past four years, leads on bilateral trade and investment, and was keen to learn more about Cornwall’s export potential and opportunities for Chinese investment in Cornwall.

Mr Zhou and his delegation, which included a senior journalist from a Chinese economic magazine, were hosted by Export Cornwall on behalf of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) with Invest in Cornwall, Cornwall Development Company’s inward investment service.

The two-day trip was organised in conjunction with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), which helps UK companies to grow and develop their business in China.

The Cornish visit included:

  • A working lunch with Cornish business leaders hosted by Cornwall Food and Drink and held at St Austell Brewery
  • A tour of Aerohub, the UK’s only aerospace focused Enterprise Zone at Newquay Cornwall Airport
  • A meeting with businesses based at Cornwall Innovation’s newly-opened Health and Wellbeing Centre in Truro
  • An afternoon with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cornwall Development Company (CDC) and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce
  • A visit to the Tregothnan Estates, England’s only home-grown tea estate, at Tresillian
  • An afternoon at the Eden Project and visit to Charlestown harbour
  • Dinner at The Cornwall Hotel near St Austell

Nicola Evans, UKTI’s head of international trade for Somerset, Devon, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, said: “The CBBC and UKTI together want to help businesses in Britain to connect better with businesses in China, and the visit from the Chinese Embassy delegation was the first official opportunity for their trade minister to find out more.

“It was an extremely successful visit for everyone involved and will hopefully lead to closer links between Cornish and Chinese businesses in the future.”