UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox Introduces GREAT Festival of Innovation to Officials and Business Leaders in Shenzhen China

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox with British Consul-General in Guangzhou Karen Maddocks

Innovation and collaboration the key topics in lead up to Festival

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox visited Shenzhen China on Thursday, 4 January to speak with Chinese Government officials and business leaders about the GREAT Festival of Innovation, which will take place in Hong Kong in March 2018. During the visit, Liam Fox gave a speech at the Ritz-Carlton Shenzhen where he discussed strong developments in Chinese and British innovation and further growing thriving technology and trade opportunities (5 January 2018).

In Shenzhen, Dr Fox promoted the government-backed GREAT Festival of Innovation which will showcase the latest technology from the UK and Asia. He also took the opportunity to meet with Design Society at its new home, the Sea World Culture and Art Centre in Shekou. The result of a partnership between China Merchants Shekou and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Design Society places emphasis on innovation through design via its exhibition programme and arrives in China at a time when policymakers are increasingly turning to design to address some of the vastly complex social, environmental, and infrastructural challenges of a growing country.

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox with Chris Bryson, Co-Founder & COO of UK technology company with China operations, Sublime

The UK’s Department for International Trade will be welcoming the UK and Asia region’s top industry leaders, entrepreneurs, creatives, educationalists and businesses at the four-day Festival to be held at Asia Society Hong Kong Centre from 21 to 24 March 2018. Speakers from the business sector in China will be an important feature in the event schedule, to be announced next month.

China is the UK’s fifth largest trading partner in the world, with trade between the countries worth £59.1 billion based on the latest figures (2016).  In the same period the UK exported £16.8bn of goods and services, making China the UK’s eight largest export market.

The Department for International Trade has also just announced up £25 billion in financial support – including loan guarantees – for UK businesses operating along the Belt & Road initiative (BRI). The initiative, set up by the Chinese government, aims to increase economic cooperation with countries around the world along key transport routes.

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox introduces the GREAT Festival of Innovation (coming to Hong Kong in March) to over 300 officials and business leaders in Shenzhen China

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

“China as a world leading economy and the UK’s fifth largest trading partner, is an important market for British companies as we look beyond the boundaries of Europe to build independent trading relationships with the rest of the world.

“The Great Festival of Innovation will bring together the best entrepreneurs and the most advanced technology across the UK and Asia to explore how we will work, live, play and learn in the future. As global markets evolve, it will be crucial to embrace the change that comes with it”.

UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox with Deputy Director-General of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Shenzhen Committee, Mr Jingwei Guo

Deputy Director-General of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Shenzhen Committee, Mr Jingwei Guo, pointed out:

“Shenzhen has seen rapid development in technology, life science, AI, industry, design and finance. There are great opportunities for Shenzhen to work with the UK in areas of R&D and technical application. We should build up cooperation for innovation in order to further enhance collaborations on a policy and funding level.”

Representative from the Festival’s Principal Partner HSBC, Head of Commercial Banking for China, Frank Fang, said:

“Shenzhen has become the heart of a thriving “Silicon Delta” in Guangdong which connects high-end manufacturing expertise, entrepreneurs and capital. The Greater Bay Area strategy also holds great potential for Hong Kong to benefit from the growth of this innovation economy by capitalising on its established strengths as an international financial centre and launchpad for Chinese companies expanding overseas. HSBC is proud to support the Great Festival of Innovation and innovative businesses from across the Greater Bay Area.”

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