Trade links between a major Chinese city, the UK and Coventry have been strengthened with the opening of a unique office at the Coventry University Enterprise Centre.
To assist UK companies in understanding the opportunities offered by China, Sino-UK has taken up space at the Enterprise Centre after months of collaborative planning between Coventry City Council, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Hub and representatives from the Sino-UK Innovation Park in Dalian in the North East of China.
The Sino-UK Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Park in Dalian recently opened as China’s first UK orientated business park in and will focus on working with the UK’s advanced manufacturing and automotive industries going forward.
It is backed by both the UK and Chinese Governments and sets out to support UK businesses in accessing the massive opportunities presented by the world’s second largest economy.
The new Coventry office will serve as a space for links to be forged between companies in Coventry and Warwickshire as well as the wider UK and Dalian, a city which ranks high on the list of economic health for cities across the country and boasts a population of over seven million.
An event to mark the opening of the Sino-UK office was held, with Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, cutting the ribbon after speaking with delegates.
Councillor O’Boyle said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Sino-UK team for deciding to create an office here in Coventry.
“This is sure to be the start of an extremely positive and successful relationship between businesses in Dalian and Coventry and Warwickshire.
“It was a pleasure to be a part of the opening ceremony and to meet the delegates involved in this project, I wish everyone involved the best of luck going forward.”
The opening ceremony saw gifts exchanged between the Chinese delegates and Coventry City Council and Growth Hub representatives.
Dr Mark Wareing, previously a senior Civil Servant within the British Embassy in China and who has been involved in the establishment of the Park for over three years has played a key role in the creation of the office and took the team of delegates on a tour around key landmarks in the area including Coombe Abbey and the Horiba MIRA Technology Centre.
He said: “The creation of this office, offering a one-of-a-kind service to strengthen links between China and the region, is a real achievement for parties on both sides.”
The Sino-UK team will be located next to the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub at the Enterprise Centre.
The Growth Hub, which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council, has played a key role in bringing the Sino-UK team to Coventry and will assist their work through introductions to key businesses and stakeholders in the region.
Phil Peak, Strategic Account Manager at the Growth Hub, said: “As an organisation working to boost the Coventry and Warwickshire economy through opening new doors for its businesses, we believe this project is a real opportunity for the region.
“We will be working closely with the team to offer any support they require and look forward to seeing many successful business relationships grow over the years to come.”
Picture caption: L/R Business delegates from China and Coventry unite to open the new Sino-UK office, with Coventry City Council cabinet member Jim O’Boyle helping to cut the ribbon