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UK-China Twinned Cities Conference in Nottingham 25 June 2014

July 1, 2014 11:00 PM

UK China twinned cities conference group 25 June 2014The day-conference on this important and relevant topic was jointly organised by The Asia Business Centre of the University of Nottingham (UoN) and the Chinese Liberal Democrats (CLD), with support from China Britain Business Centre (CBBC).

CLD researchers and authors of the book "UK-China Twinned Cities: a gesture of friendship or a viable channel for trade and investment for regional cities?" * Carl Carlstedt and Chris Georgiou presented their findings of the factors needed for success in twinning between UK and Chinese cities.

Drawing on case studies into 4 pairings: Liverpool/Shanghai, Manchester/Wuhan, Nottingham/Ningbo and Sheffield/Chengdu, the authors made convincing arguments that there had to be the political will and leadership from the local authority, investment from businesses as well as oft overlooked assistance from the local Chinese community for successful twinning.

Chairing the plenary session with contributions from representatives from the four cities was Chair of CLD, Ms Linda Chung (Councillor of Camden Council, London 2008-2014). Chung commented:

"No doubt there are enormous challenges to successful twinning, from funding to working to ensuring that the relationship is sustainable, but the benefits are obvious and are measurable in terms of increased jobs and growth for the region".

Cllr Cat Arnold of Nottingham City Council, David Tinsley who had been involved in the Liverpool and Shanghai twinning, Jerry Cheung, a local entrepreneur in Sheffield all welcomed the research findings and shared their personal experience and insights into the topic. On hand to lend their expertise were key note speakers Prof Chris Rudd of UoN and Claire Urry of CBBC.

Meanwhile former Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and an alumnus from the University of Nottingham, Jeremy Browne MP delighted delegates with stories from his travels to China and shared his huge admiration for the rapid rise of the world's most populous nation. This was of course reflected in his new and controversial book on the "Race Plan - an authentic liberal plan to get Britain fit for the global race."

Chris Rudd. Jeremy Browne MP and Isabella CarterClosing the conference Merlene Emerson said:

"We are grateful to University of Nottingham for hosting this event with their excellent facilities at the Si Yuan Centre. It has been very rewarding to know that there is so much interest in our research. Through the conference, we provided a forum for academics, stakeholders and businesses to share ideas, best practice and to inform government policy."

*To order a copy of the book, email info@chineselibdems.org.uk