China’s leading economic power house, Guangdong Province, warming up partnership with Thames Valley

(Reported by Business Voice, Jan/Feb 2016, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce)

The headline deals of £30 billion contracts signed between UK and China during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his large business delegation in October are unprecedented in its scale. The sectors and regions across the UK involved are so wide ranging and projects so high profile that it feels that this may be a sign of long waited floodgate moment. Further deals have already come quick and fast since October. From ABP’s £1.7 bn London Royal Dock development in Newham to the NNL/CGN’s investment in the £24 bn Hinckley Point power station; from Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) £130 m to finance the ‘China Cluster’ in Manchester’s Airport City to the SinoForturen’s £2 bn investment in UK’s Orthios Eco Parks at Holyhead and Port Talbot. Two Chinese airlines have announced direct flights to Manchester since the visit, and in December, Chinese company CMC has agreed to invest $400 m in Manchester City Football Club. No wonder that both Britain and China declare now as the beginning of a golden era in the bilateral relationship.

Partnership with Guangdong Province

Guangdong is the biggest Chinese domestic regional market with 104 m population, one tenth of China’s GDP and a quarter of China import and export.

Closer partnership between BCC LinkToChina programme with the Guangdong Province in the last few years has led to the agreement for the Guangdong Economic & Trade Office to be co-located with LinkToChina in the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce in late 2014. During the year of 2015, Guangdong government and businesses are warming up to the opportunities in London – Thames Valley market which has received an increasing number of Guangdong delegations from the Provinces and the cities of Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Foshan, Chaozhou and Shaoguan.

The Chairman of Guangdong Province chamber CCPIT Guangdong, Mr Chen Qiuyan, led a group of senior chamber officials to visit the UK in October, were in Thames Valley Berkshire and held talks with key partners to Guangdong. Mr Chen were impressed by what Thames Valley have to offer as a location for Guangdong investors and emphasised the province willingness to work with the Thames Valley in increasing the awareness about Thames Valley in Guangdong. On 19 October, a business delegation from the City of Foshan worked with Bracknell Forest Council to stage a seminar in Bracknell which was attended by over 40 local participants.

Chinese Investors from Guangdong

Chinese investors from Guangdong are well represented in the Thames Valley. The largest Chinese investors, Huawei Technologies (Reading Green Park), and others such as TPLink, Hytera Telecommunication UK Ltd have been doing well in Berkshire as well as those in London like Ping An Insurance and China Merchants Bank. In 2015 we welcome a new comer in ZTE (UK) Ltd to Slough. ZTE is a global player in telecommunication sector and the relocation of its UK headquarters to the Thames Valley region will be seen as a significance endorsement to Thames Valley as the ‘Silicon Valley’ in UK. Already ZTE has become a Chamber’s Business Alliance member and started to play an active part in the local business community. We have also witnessed the continuing expansion of Hytera in Segro’s Slough Trading Estate. There are a number of investors in the pipeline looking at setting up shops following the above examples.

Great opportunities in Thames Valley for Guangdong and vice versa

Arguably Guangdong is China’s capital of commerce and hub of the world’s manufacturing. There are thousands of Guangdong companies actively doing business with the UK and many of which have potential in working with Thames Valley. Mr Chen of Guangdong CCPIT believes that there is much room for growth in the region for Guangdong companies and urges Thames Valley to strengthen its promotion and marketing activities in Guangdong.

Guangdong has been chosen by the Chinese central government to set up Free Trade Areas in Cities of Guangzhou (Nansha), Shenzhen (Qianhai) and Zhuhai (Hengqin) which have been set up to pilot new policies (including lower tax bands) supporting the simplification of business set up and operation for overseas companies including British firms doing business in China. Many growing business sectors in Guangdong match well with those of sector strength in Thames Valley such as ICT, hi-tech engineering, automotive, education, etc. There are new opportunities in sectors undergoing further opening and reform such as finance, public services, health care and medicine, tourism, etc.

BCC LinkToChina and the Guangdong Office has announced that in 2016 the development will be supported by large business delegations from Guangdong to visit the Thames Valley, and vice versa a Thames Valley Trade Mission to Guangdong and Hong Kong plus Chinese investors event featuring case studies in additional to the regular programmes of activities. For further details please contact Dr Kegang Wu on 01753 870 571 or visit

  1601 Biz Voice Thames Valley


Launch of Guangdong Economic and Trade Office in the UK

Press Release 02.July.2014


1406 Guangdong office launch Zhao and Guangdong Province delegation in Europe
Guangdong office launch Zhao and Guangdong Province delegation in Europe

Guangdong Economic and Trade Office is setup to represent the Guangdong Province in the UK and to promote, encourage and support the economic and trade exchange and cooperation between Guangdong and the UK. It will proactively support Guangdong companies doing business in the UK & Europe and British companies doing business in Guangdong and China.

Guangdong, or Canton, is the economic centre of Southern China. With its population at 104 million and GDP of $1 trillion, Guangdong leads Chinese regions in both market size and economic scale. It has been the largest province in successive decades.

In 2013 Guangdong reached a significant milestone: $1 trillion in GDP which makes up one-ninth of China’s total and $1 trillion in import and export, which accounts for one in four pounds of Chinese. Guangdong is the undisputed gateway of trading with China with its export amount to one in four pounds of Chinese export. A quarter of current British trade with China goes through Guangdong.

More and more Chinese companies from Guangdong are investing in the UK market. Leading technology companies like Huawei, ZTE, TPLink and Hytera have made Thames Valley and the areas around Heathrow — the Silicon Valley of Europe – home for their European HQ.

Establishment of official representation of Guangdong Province in the UK is to boost the ever expansion of trade and investment between the UK and Guangdong and South China. Guangdong is the economic driving force of Greater Pearl River Delta Region, which include Hong Kong and Macao.

In June 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang led a large business delegation visiting the UK and signed a historic £18 billion worth of agreements.

zhao yifang launched the Guangdong Office

Days after the visit of Li Keqiang, the Guangdong Economic and Trade Office was unveiled in Europe by Vice-governor of Guangdong People’s Government, Madam Zhao Yufang and a senior delegation from the Guangdong Government The announcement was made on 27th June 2014 by Vice Governor of Guangdong Government Ms Yifang Zhao at a seminar participated by more than 200 Guangdong and European businesses

Kegang Wu, Executive Director of BCC LinkToChina, will head up the Guangdong Office.