Shenzhen Trade Delegation visit Milton Keynes

Date: 07 Apr 2017

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High level Chinese delegation visits Milton Keynes

Dr Philip Smith MBE, chair of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership, says a visit by a delegation from the Chinese ‘mega-city’ of Shenzhen to Milton Keynes has been a resounding success and should lead to meaningful trade, educational and cultural ties between the two communities.

MK Business Leaders hosted the visit by more than 20 representatives of the property, construction, technology, investment, education and media sectors from the city. Shenzhen is situated north of Hong Kong, is one of the fastest growing cities in China and in 2016 had a GDP of $294 billion.

The trip to the UK was organised by the China International Capital Innovation Research Institute and Tim Cullen Associates. Mr Cullen said Milton Keynes was the group’s first choice of destination outside London as it represented much of what has made Shenzhen an economic and technological powerhouse. Milton Keynes was chosen because of its work towards becoming a Smart City, as a test-bed for autonomous vehicle technology and its position as the hub of the developing Oxford-Cambridge Corridor.

At a luncheon held at Transport Systems Catapult, Pan Jun, Executive Chairman of the Board of China Fantasia Holdings, a major Chinese property company, said that from what he had seen ‘Shenzhen and Milton Keynes are genetically the same’. Mr Pan said he looked forward to welcoming a return visit to his city and particularly to see representatives from many of Milton Keynes young technology companies there.

Earlier the Deputy Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr David Hopkins welcomed the party and also drew on the parallels between Shenzhen and Milton Keynes as new and growing cities, though he said some comparisons were difficult as the Chinese city had grown in barely 30 years from a small fishing village into an urban metropolis of 12 million people.

Other stops included Bletchley Park and The Open University. Dr Smith said: “We have been delighted and honoured to welcome our friends from China and hope that they felt at home in Milton Keynes.

“MK Business Leaders is confident that we can grow strong relationships through new partnerships in Shenzhen, and together share in the fantastic success of our respective cities.”

In January 2017 MK Business Leaders announced a trade link between Milton Keynes and Dubai and the UAE which is already generating potential business leads for MK companies and is part of an MK Business Leaders strategy to position Milton Keynes at the forefront of developing new trade opportunities post-Brexit.


The Chinese trade visit took place April 7, 2017


Notes for editors:

  • Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership (MKBLP) is a group of individuals from a broad cross section of backgrounds who utilise their skills and knowledge for the benefit of the wider business community.
  • As part of the vision for the continued growth and development of MK we are focusing on key areas identified as fundamental to the success of the city including: Transport and Communications; Smart Cities and High Technology; Sport, health and wellbeing; Economic Development; Education, Skills and Apprenticeships
  • As an independent organisation, funded through member subscriptions, MKBLP works to identify and develop interests that are specific to the business community in the city. The aim is to influence change as MK develops and grows by utilising proven senior leadership qualities from across the membership.  Member feedback provides a catalyst to enable us to work with other partners to help business thrive and prosper.


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