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.
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 at St Austell Brewer hosted by Cornwall Food and Drink; 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; A visit to the Tregothnan Estates, England’s only home-grown tea estate, at Tresillianand an afternoon spent at the Eden Project.
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.”
Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, who met with the delegation on the second day of their visit, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Chinese delegation and were able to highlight a range of export opportunities for local businesses, including food and drink, and at the same time showcase potential investment opportunities in Cornwall, including Aerohub and other growth sectors like renewable energy and agricultural technologies. The delegation asked for follow-up information in a number of areas so we will be forwarding that shortly.”