Following the announcement of the largest investment by China in the UK outside of London, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce have announced they are joining with the Sheffield University Confucius Institute and other partners to establish a world-class Sheffield Confucius Business Gateway for China in the North.
The announcement was made today in China by University of Sheffield Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett as he meets with Sheffield Confucius Institute partners in Nanjing.
Sir Keith said: “China is a quarter of the world’s population and we face many similar challenges around energy, sustainable jobs and healthcare as our populations age. If we can pool our expertise and energy over years and decades, we have the potential to do real good in the world and to bring a powerful boost to the future economy of the UK’s Northern Powerhouse.”
Chief executive of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Richard Wright, said: “It is fantastic that Sheffield is leading the way in securing inward investment opportunities from China, but we want to develop the kind of business community and culture that is really ready and able to take advantage of these opportunities and to build long term partnerships between the UK and China.
“The Chamber of Commerce has worked with the Confucius Institute for some time on business language and understanding, but we need to take that to a new level. If we get this right, I am confident we can help to make Sheffield the landing place for China in the North, drawing in particular on the strong existing links with China through the University, Sheffield City Council and existing investors like New Era Development.
“I am delighted that the University is so actively supporting this essential context through its extensive Chinese contexts and staff and students with vital expertise in supporting international exchange and collaboration.”
Sheffield Confucius Institute director Dr Lucy Zhao, who is also in China for the University of Sheffield meetings, said: “We have worked with the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce not only to teach Chinese language and business culture to local company leaders, but also to help translate and facilitate for inward investment in the city.”
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