First Minister's China links in Beijing
by David Phillips
Welsh Labour's First Minister Carwyn Jones signs a new co-operation agreement with Beijing area before meeting senior Chinese Government representatives for talks whilst in the Chinese capital.
The activity is part of a Welsh Government mission to promote business and education links with China.
The First Minister's two day schedule in Beijing (Thurs 27th + Fri 28th Oct) includes meetings with Vice Foreign Minister FU Ying, the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs and the Chinese Government body that controls food imports.
He will also meet with the British Embassy and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to see how the Welsh Government can continue to promote Welsh interests in China.
On the agenda will be promoting Welsh businesses and higher education, whilst also working to lift a lamb export ban. Accompanying the First Minister are representatives from Welsh industry and education sectors.
China was Wales 9th largest trading partner, accounting for £162 million in Welsh exports in 2009. In 2010, this figure grew by 42%, to £230 million. When trade with Hong Kong and Taiwan are also taken into consideration, the figure for 2010 was £500 million.
Tomorrow, the First Minister will attend a ceremony with the Mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong, to sign a new agreement with
the Beijing Municipal Government to explore areas of collaboration.
The schedule includes a higher education event promote Wales as a study destination to the Chinese media and Swansea University signing a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the possibility of establishing a China Europe Standards Institute at the University?s campus.
The Welsh Government will be holding a reception to promote Wales as a business location and give Welsh companies the opportunity to meet their Chinese counterparts.
Efforts to open up Welsh lamb exports to China will continue with the First Minister again meeting a top official from the body that controls the import and export of food to mainland China, the Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ).
It is links such as these with the second largest economy in the world which can help Wales move forward in what will be a very challenging times for developed economies.
By creating strategic links such as these it is possible that our economy on Anglesey could benefit in some way going forward. Without the initial contact this would not be the case, and so we should welcome this bold and ambitious drive for more business.
For more local news and stories, subscribe to our free Anglesey Newsletter
here. It's as easy as 1-2-3!