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Trade with China under the microscope at university event

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:57 24 January 2014

University of East Anglian Business School. Photo: Steve Adams

University of East Anglian Business School. Photo: Steve Adams

The region’s business chiefs will underscore the economic opportunities of forging closer ties with China during a key summit hosted by the University of East Anglia.

What do the Chinese think of us?

China has a high regard for Britain’s place in the world, according to a YouGov survey.

The study revealed that 84pc think the UK has ‘some’ or ‘significant’ influence on the world stage, while only 14pc say ‘not very much’ or ‘none’.

It also revealed that it values its British ties, with 92pc thinking it is important for the UK and China to have a close relationship.

And while most think that the UK’s influence has slightly decreased in the past 20 years, more people think the UK’s influence will increase again in the next 20 years (40pc), than decrease (24pc) – 25pc think it will stay the same.

The research was conducted by sampling 1,994 internet-connected Chinese adults – 68pc of which said they would like to learn English, far outpacing any other world languages.

The East Anglia China Business Forum will discuss how the east can channel a clearer path to trading with China by focusing on the inward investment opportunities, the potential of the Norwich Research Park, and the benefits of venture capital funding.

Leading figures speaking at the event will include Andy Wood, the chair of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership; Andrew Barnes, senior partner of Howes Percival; Chris Cotton, the director of China Britain Business Council; and Dr Nick Rousseau, head of International Innovation Strategy at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.

The meeting – on Monday January 27, 11am to 3pm at the Council Chamber Room, Council House, UEA – is being held to launch the China-UK Entrepreneurship Competition, an initiative which encourages new business ventures between China and the UK.

The challenge has been developed by a number of leading universities in the UK and China to bring together existing businesses and new student-led start-ups that are looking to exploit market opportunities between the two nations.

Prof Paul Dobson, head of the UEA’s Business School, said: “We expect to use this event to highlight the important opportunities of working with China, which is critical for the development of this region.”

Registration is open to teams of final year students from UK or Chinese institution, post-doctoral researchers and start-up companies less than two years old with university links.

The competition is part of the PMI2 (Prime Minister Initiative II) Connect project, supported by British Council and the Confucius Institute programme funded by Hanban.

Teams will be selected for the chance to win a £5,000 cash prize, and an investment opportunity of £250,000 for the best business plans.

Initial registration, proposal submission and selection deadline is Monday April 14 5pm.

To attend the launch event, please email Dr Yu Xiong at y.xiong@uea.ac.uk.

For more information about the competition, visit http://business.uea.ac.uk/chinaukchallenge.

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