Gloucestershire Business Show is catalyst for new Asia trade deal with the county

Official reception China delegation

Official reception China delegation - Credit: Archant

An international trade deal to launch a new venture between China and Gloucestershire was agreed at The Gloucestershire Business Show, held May 16 and 17 at the Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

Mrs Wang, Neil Ricketts, Qing Lin

Mrs Wang, Neil Ricketts, Qing Lin - Credit: Archant

As a direct result of meetings at the show between Qing Lin, CEO of international trade-experts Join in China, Henan Group of Townsmen and Gloucestershire businesses, the ‘UK-China Technology and Innovation Platform’ will focus on identifying business opportunities between the two regions in technology and innovation.

The Chinese company will establish its office in the county in the coming months; Qing Lin explains: “London is where Chinese companies primarily think of when establishing a UK presence; we’ve been busy persuading them that Gloucestershire is the place to be with its depth of talent, wide range of businesses, great geographical position and superior quality of life. The comparative cost of office space also works in the county’s favour and the appetite for doing business with China shown at the Business Show clinched the deal. It has been wonderful to have the support of GFirst LEP, Business West and the Department of International Trade”

Mrs Wang and President Catriona Murray

Mrs Wang and President Catriona Murray - Credit: Archant

The Business Show played host to official international trade delegations keen to explore partnerships with the county’s leading businesses. The Chinese delegation from Henan were special guests at the International Trade Reception on Wednesday where Andy Cole of Vinotopia and Fosters Catering arranged a showcase of the finest farm-to-fork food and drink from the county.

The following day, the event’s key International Trade Forum attracted much interest. Hosted by Qing Lin, the forum panel included CEO of county-based technology innovators Versarien and GFirst LEP board member Neill Ricketts as well as Julian Stevens, International Director for Santander UK, who stated: “Businesses that don’t export are four times as likely to go bust.”

Gloucestershire Business Awards

Gloucestershire Business Awards - Credit: Archant

In addition to international trade and food and farming themes, the show turned its spotlight on the county’s peerless cyber security sector. Jeannie Cohen-Brand from the University of Gloucestershire’s C11 Cyber Security and Digital Centre was a part of the dynamic hub which focused on innovation and collaboration to build resilience against cyber attacks: “We are keen to encourage every level of business to engage in the debate about vulnerability and hope the show this year will have spread the word that no-one is immune from potential attack. C11 is a key service provider for every part of the digital conversation.”

This year, the Gloucestershire Business Show welcomed over 2,000 visitors from across the business community over the two day event. The emphasis of the show is on creating an environment for learning, strategic discussion and business development, to create opportunities and growth for Gloucestershire’s business community

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The Gloucestershire business community created demand for an event to allow the national and local government agencies to communicate and consult on plans to develop the future.

The show features 140 exhibitors, sponsors, partners and contributing organisations that shape its collaborative and vibrant environment. Pete Allison is Director of the show and was delighted by the feedback from his event dubbed a ‘festival of business’: “Our goal is to engender key business conversations and I think the success of the International Trade thread is evidence of our strength.” He commented.

The Gloucestershire Business Show 2019 will be in May 2019 - see the website to stay updated.

The next county Business Show will be the South Gloucestershire event, October 3/4 2018, held at the Bristol and Bath Science Park. Visit for further information.