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Looking ahead to 2022 with CBBC Chief Executive Andrew Seaton

by CBBC Staff
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What will CBBC offer members in 2022? As we reach the end of the year, CBBC Chief Executive, Andrew Seaton takes a look back at what we’ve done for members in 2021 – and what’s coming next

Thank you for your continued engagement and support over the last 12 months, during what has been a second challenging year for us all because of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite these challenges, 2021 has once again demonstrated the scale of the business opportunity China presents, and the importance to the UK of a healthy trade and investment relationship with China, with UK exports continuing to grow by 3.2% last year and China remaining the UK’s 3rd largest trading partner.

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The prospects for further growth are strong: The Department for International Trade (DIT) sees demand from the growing Asian middle class as the key opportunity for UK business in the coming decades. China is at the heart of this, and CBBC is at the heart of the UK-China business relationship.

How we supported CBBC Members in 2021

CBBC supports our members and clients through the provision of:

  • On the ground practical market entry and business development advice and support in China and the UK.
  • Expert analysis and insight on policy, regulations and developments.
  • An apolitical platform and independent voice for our Members.
  • Access for our Members to senior-level government policymakers and regulators.

At a time when the political context for doing business for China is more complex, CBBC is the voice for that business relationship and for how important it is to UK companies, to the UK’s global trading agenda and to the UK economy.

This year, CBBC has worked to deliver real benefits to our Members, helping to build business connections between the UK and China. We delivered a strong senior-level advocacy programme connecting senior UK business leaders with key Chinese decision-makers. This included a series of virtual meetings as part of the Chair’s Annual Visit with senior Chinese figures including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, and Yi Huiman, the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Our programme of virtual meetings was supplemented by a programme of in-person initiatives in China including face-to-face meetings with Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, Shanghai Vice Mayor Zong Ming, and the Beijing, Guangzhou, Jiangsu, and Shenzhen governments.

On the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow, CBBC launched the report Targeting Net Zero: The Role of UK-China Business, examining the role that Chinese and British businesses can play to reach net zero and carbon neutrality. The report launch was a capstone to a series of in-depth events exploring the key themes of COP26.

The UK-China Consumer Week attracted over a thousand attendees joining a week of content and opportunities to meet with Chinese buyers. The week was capped off with a live stream with Chinese key opinion leaders (KOLs). We also ran regular online webinars, briefings and meetings for Members updating them on the latest regulatory changes and consumer trends in China.

CBBC’s China Committee of representatives from CBBC Members who are based in Greater China (C2) is now firmly in place, chaired by Duncan Clark, CBBC Board Vice Chair.

CBBC also launched its first two Government relations working groups in Beijing and Shanghai. Further working groups will be launched in China over the coming year. We also launched our new CBBC website to improve Members’ access to the information they need in a timely manner.

And all the while CBBC continues to deliver commercial projects to a wide range of clients through our LaunchpadChina Gateway & Navigator and Event services, which remain an effective way for companies to grow their business even at a time when travel is restricted

What to expect in 2022

Looking ahead, CBBC will continue to build on this programme with an exciting list of initiatives for 2022, which we would now like to share with you, so that you can plan and budget accordingly.

  • February 2022: The China-Scotland Business Awards 2022 (Scotland)
  • April 2022: The China Consumer ’22 (London)
  • July 2022: UK-China Forum (London)
  • September 2022: CBBC China Lecture (London)
  • September 2022: AGM (London)
  • September: UK-China Appreciation Dinner (Beijing)
  • November: China Investment Summit (Shanghai)
  • Year-round: Senior-level Chinese Government Advocacy Programme (Virtual)
  • Year-round: Regional Business Dialogues (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jiangsu).

Further details of these initiatives are available for download here. If you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities and how to get involved or have any topics that you would like CBBC to explore, please email Chris.Lethbridge@cbbc.org to learn more.

I look forward to working with you throughout 2022 and wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and New Year period.

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