The Minister said:
‘During our five day visit to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai we had a series of meetings with Chinese government officials, decision makers in major Chinese businesses and key business associations to understand and offer our support for their vision and plans for outward investment. Building awareness and acceptance in China of the Isle of Man as a successful, reputable international business centre is significantly reliant on building relations at government level and with key Chinese business stakeholders and demonstrating the economic benefits of doing business with the Isle of Man.
‘We also hosted two seminars which were attended by 150 people to introduce to them how the Isle of Man can support the “Going Global” vision of Chinese businesses. ‘Many of them showed enormous interest in the variety of opportunities that the Isle of Man has to offer particularly in regard to our ability to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for Chinese exporters seeking to establish a trading hub for the UK or Europe.’
The main purpose of the visit was to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the Isle of Man and to support local firms looking to develop business with China. It forms part of an ongoing and long term commitment that the Department has to develop business opportunities with the country. The Minister outlined some of the developments that had resulted from the trade mission.
‘To succeed in key markets such as China requires time and commitment as part of a long term strategy. At the same time, I am pleased to report that we have already achieved a number of significant outcomes from this visit.
‘We exchanged a statement of co-operation between the Financial Supervision Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission which will facilitate Chinese banks seeking to establish branches or subsidiaries in the Isle of Man.
‘An agreement of economic co-operation was signed with the Shanghai Small to Medium Enterprise Centre which will result in Chinese delegations visiting the Isle of Man for business study and reciprocal initiatives from the Isle of Man from as early as this summer.
‘Going forward it will be vital that we carry on the momentum gained so far to further build relations with China. Therefore we are committed to facilitating more trade delegations to China as well as hosting further visiting delegations to the Isle of Man. I am pleased to be able to confirm that the Chinese Ambassador to the UK has offered his assistance for the Chief Minister to visit China in the next year to deepen our Government links. Also we will receive 4 Chinese delegations to our Island in the next 3 months. These are important further steps as part of our long-term strategy for engagement and growth.’
The trade mission consisted of a number of private sector organisations from a variety of business sectors who funded their own attendance.
Peter Duke, Managing Director of Duke Marketing Ltd, was a member of the delegation.
‘I found the trip well worthwhile and it exceeded my expectations in terms of new business potential. In a hectic five-day schedule, I managed to have high-level meetings with three major potential TV broadcast customers and three other promising partners, as well as fitting in a productive half-day visit to the renowned Canton Trade Fair, arguably the largest of its kind in the world.’