Sunamp, Glencairn Crystal and Virens Technology were among the winners at this year’s China-Scotland Business Awards. The Awards were announced and presented at the Chinese Burns Supper held by CBBC in Edinburgh
Businesses were shortlisted across five different categories: Exporter of the Year, Educational Partnership of the Year, Chinese Investor of the Year, the Award for Climate Action and Entrepreneur of the Year.
East Lothian-based Sunamp won the Award for Climate Action thanks to its world-leading thermal storage technologies, which are transforming how we use energy and provide heat around the world.
The Chinese Investor of the Year Award was won by Virens Technology, which is aiming to innovate the property management industry by using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and radar technology to support sustainability. Founded in 2020 in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the company now has teams of engineers based in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Family-business Glencairn Crystal, the creators of the world’s favourite whisky glass, won the Award for Exporter of the Year. They have been supplying the whisky industry with premium glasses and containers for 40 years, with 80% of everything they make now sold or distributed outside the UK, including a growing market in China.
The Award for Educational Partnership of the Year was won by the City of Glasgow College and Zhejiang Technical Institute of Economics. Over 200 students have so far graduated with a Certificate in Supply Chain and Logistics thanks to the partnership, despite facing huge challenges during the pandemic.
Entrepreneur of the Year was won by Zhang Yuxuan, the Overseas Business Director for Henan Lanxing Power Equipment Co Ltd. Yuxuan also acts as Business Development Director for China at Edinburgh-based clean energy solutions provider Logan Energy and Business Development Director of Kelvin Capital, an investor syndicate based in Glasgow, helping Scottish companies access the Chinese market.
This year’s awards featured a special new addition, The Lifetime Achievement Award, which CBBC’s Chief Executive, Andrew Seaton was delighted to present to the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, Professor Sir Jim McDonald.
Now going into its ninth year, CBBC’s Chinese Burns Supper has become a permanent fixture in the China-Scotland business calendar.
The event featured a fusion of Burns Night traditions with those of Chinese New Year as a backdrop for black-tie networking for the China-Scotland business and educational community.
Funds were raised for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to support their long-term conservation work in partnership with Kunming, Yunnan in southwest China, where the UN Biodiversity Conference — COP15 — will take place next month.
Scottish exports to China were worth roughly £381 million in the first quarter of last year. In particular, exports of beverages have increased in recent years, soaring 120% between 2020 and 2021.
Economic ties with China through trade, tourism, and universities support between 8,100 and 10,000 jobs in Scotland, according to 2020 data from Cambridge Econometrics.
James Brodie, Commercial Director for the industrial sector at the China-Britain Business Council, said: “Despite the pandemic, we’re still seeing a good number of Scottish businesses taking advantage of the huge opportunities the Chinese market has to offer. That is translating into investment, growth and jobs here in Scotland. We want to recognise the vital work being done in areas such as climate change and education, as well as celebrating some of the huge success stories in exports and entrepreneurship.”