Worcester is forging ahead with plans for closer relationships with China.
Led by the Worcestershire Ambassadors, it has taken multiple trade delegations to China, most recently in November 2014, and is in the process of signing Sister City agreements with two cities in south and south-east China, Hezhou and Huizhou, both home to more than one million people.
Now a delegation from the city has had a meeting in London with the All Party Parliamentary China Group. It was led by Worcester MP Robin Walker, who is vice chairman of APPCG, together with Worcestershire Ambassadors Phil Dutton and Frankie Tsang.
The idea was to gain insight into how mid-sized UK regions can harness the power of China. Mr Dutton explained: "We have been working hard to develop these relationships with Hezhou and Huizhou and with each trade mission, we take an increasing number of Worcestershire businesses with us who return with their own trade links. It is great that the city and county is being held up nationally as a successful model to follow. It was a privilege to present MP’s, Government support agencies and Chinese businesses with Robin Walker.”
The APPCG was established in 1997 to widen the parliamentary contribution to the UK-China bilateral relationship. The group ensures parliamentarians are kept well informed on China, and act as a platform for discussions on all issues of importance to the UK-China relationship.
Mr Dutton added: "Worcester is seen as punching above its weight in terms of how it is leveraging relations with China in respect of tourism, business, and education."