Harvey Owen, Managing Partner at Nicklin LLP – which has offices in Halesowen and Worcester – recently participated in a trade delegation to Hezhou and Huizhou.
This was the second trade visit to China and comprised of key partners in Worcestershire such as Robin Walker MP, Adrian Gregson of Worcester City Council, Simon Geraghty (Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council), Mike Ashton of Hereford and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Frankie Tsang of the Worcestershire Chinese Association.
Harvey commented: “I was looking for opportunities for my clients and went to meet people that could make importing or exporting easier for my clients. This is all part of our all inclusive service as business advisers.”
The delegation was met by and treated as guests of the Mayor of Huizhou and the outcome of the visit was an agreement to work together in business, tourism and education.
In business, Worcester will support businesses from Hezhou that are interested in exporting to the UK. Equally, Hezhou will support Worcestershire businesses wishing to trade with China.
To develop tourism, Grace Pan Ming, Head of Tourism for the Guangxi Region which incorporates Hezhou, agreed that material from Visit Worcestershire will be translated into Mandarin and then link to their tourism website. The Chamber of Commerce has also agreed to link the English version of the Hezhou Tourism website to Visit Worcestershire.
In education, two threads are being pursued. The first involves building relationships between the University of Worcester and Hezhou University by organising delegations for staff and students. A high school exchange is also being considered and is under discussion between the Hezhou Education Bureau and Worcestershire County Council.
Throughout this year, two delegations are expected from Hezhou and Huizhou to Worcestershire. Huizhou is planning to visit in May and this will be a delegation comprising of local government officials. Hezhou is planning to make a visit in September and this will see local government officials and Hezhou businesses visiting that are interested in trade potential and inward investment.
Upon visiting China, Simon Geraghty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayor of Hezhou, but on these future visits, the two cities are expected to execute a sister city agreement that will formalise the relationship between Worcester, Hezhou and Huizhou.