When East meets West at the House of Lords

June 8, 2013 10:52 PM

CLD East-West Business Networking with Jo Swinson MP On 3rd June, over 50 guests and friends of Chinese Liberal Democrats gathered at the House of Lords to meet with Jo Swinson MP, Minister in the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Deputy Chair of the All Party Parliamentary China Group.

Councillor Linda Chung, Vice-Chair of Chinese Liberal Democrats welcomed guests, introduced Philip Ling, Chair of CLDs as well as the first guest speaker.

Minister Swinson spoke of the Government's latest industrial policy and incentives to encourage British companies to export to and invest in China. At the same time, UK welcomed Chinese companies seeking a base in the UK. In the last financial year China was the 3rd largest investor in the UK by the number of foreign direct investment projects and 80% of existing Chinese investment in Europe is in the UK. But there was potential for even more trade and closer ties, she said.

East-West Business Networking evening with Cllr Linda Chung and Lord Tim Clement-Jones

Merlene Emerson was pleased to introduce the second speaker Lord Clement-Jones, thanked him for sponsoring the event and for all his support for the work of Chinese Liberal Democrats over the years. As Managing Partner of the London office of DLA Piper, and Chairman of its China Desk, Lord Clement-Jones has been at the vanguard of promoting UK-Chinese business relations during much of his professional life.

"In business the emphasis is now on creativity," observed Lord Clement-Jones. "This is very much reflected the 12th 5 year plan that is underway and marks an important new approach where creative and artistic skills are being highly valued….with the aim of the economy moving from "Made in China" to "Created in China".

There was also time for contributions from the audience on topics ranging from support for hi-tech/clean technology and information sectors to questions on immigration law, the future of Chinese youths, to diplomatic relations with China. The guests were themselves of diverse background, coming from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, Korea and SE Asia. There were also representatives from the Great Britain China Centre and the China-Britain Business Council.

The event was the first of a series of East-West business networking evenings, the next being scheduled for 4 July with the Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable MP. For more information contact info@chineselibdems.org.uk