A new partnership agreement is set to facilitate international trade and investment opportunities between UK and China.
Delegates of the China International Electronic Commerce Centre (CIECC) signed the strategic agreement with North of England based business ACOLINK, during a 4-day-visit to three cities of the Northern Powerhouse.
The delegation was jointly organised by ACOLINK and CIECC who were supported by Manchester City Council and Manchester China Forum. The parties, together with ThoughtWorks and Centre of Health Informatics at the University of Manchester, hosted the first E-government & Open Data G2G Forum on 7 November.
This forum aims to establish initial government-to-government dialogue on topics including an overview of E-government and E-participation initiatives in the UK and Manchester, such as business support services, citizen engagement, e-citizen gateways, the use of big data and data management.
In the long-term, the annual forum will provide an opportunity to share best practice between the two countries through exchanges and visits to live projects.
During the visit the delegates travelled to Manchester, Liverpool and York. The directors of CIECC also visited the UK branch of Hainan Airlines in Manchester, which is a notable example of an already well-established Chinese business in the North of England.
The trip helped CIECC to understand what support is currently available to Chinese businesses in the UK and highlighted ideas on what else the Chinese government could do to enhance future support that encourages outward investment and trade with the UK.
ACOLINK, as part of their long-term strategy, approached CIECC earlier this year to establish a UK-China platform with the aim of advancing close cooperation between British and Chinese businesses of all sizes.
CEO of ACOLINK, Anita Zhang said: “We are very pleased to have this partnership agreement officially signed after a few months of interesting discussions and to see it already working in practise. Of course, this is only the beginning. We want to bring more opportunities to the businesses outside of London and make trading in and with China simpler, easier.
“This agreement means we are in a unique position to further develop relationships and have national reach in both countries. We are aiming to be recognised as the UK-China agile platform business which paves the way that brings global opportunities closer to local businesses.”
Fu Cheng, deputy director of CIECC, ministry of commerce said: “Thanks to technology the world truly became a global village, people and businesses who very much want to invest, or do business with cities such as Manchester, or in Manchester, want to have thorough understanding of the local policies and opportunities in those areas; it is therefore important to make these more accessible (to them) and to launch an effective dialogue with those potential businesses and investors.”