by Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership:
In just two weeks’ time several hundred international business leaders, heads of Government, and Ministers arrive in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) for a two-day, high-level conference, Horasis China 2017.
We will be on the world stage with this event and it gives us an enviable opportunity to showcase our strengths and glories.
It was a terrific coup for the region to win the bid to host the event, and it promises many chances for future collaboration, trade and investment. It is a major tribute to the close partnership we have with our co-host, the prestigious China Federation of Industrial Economics.
The Federation, a grouping of 178 national industrial associations, is building a new type of think-tank, forging industrial synergy and strengthening international co-operation.
We are also delighted to be working alongside our two leading international universities providing their global expertise and relationships as knowledge partners, and Visit England, with its vast understanding of the UK market, as our tourism partner.
The conference, with the overarching title, China and World Economic Outlook, brings decision makers from China and the world here to identify new business ideas and economic development.
Under the umbrella themes of heritage, resilience and learning, delegates will attend two days of sessions covering topics such as the success of the SCR and the Northern Powerhouse, investing in the UK, and China’s role in the global economy.
It will be a unique opportunity to exchange information and high-level expertise on so many of the issues facing both the SCR and China.
China is interested in developing productivity, and therefore, specialisms in advanced and new materials, in intelligent manufacturing, in information technology, and artificial intelligence.
It is concerned with the quality of life and so is very much interested in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology. All these areas have huge resonance with our own emerging specialisms in these sectors, as we see at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Sheffield Hallam’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre.
Co-chairs of the sessions will be keynote figures including the chairman of TsingRay Investment Management, the president of the United States Council on Competitiveness, and the chair of the Beijing Automotive Group.
It’s not all work. We’re keen to demonstrate what a fantastic quality of life people have in the Sheffield City Region. The delegates will experience a great welcome in some of our most wonderful settings – the Cutlers Hall, Sheffield City Hall and Cathedral, and Chatsworth House.
They will see both our breathtaking countryside and our lively urban core. Alongside the main conference, we will be holding the ‘Horasis Business Awards’ to celebrate the achievements of SCR businesses in the Chinese market, and Chinese businesses in the region.
The businesses will be showcased to the international delegates, and the high-profile media outlets specially invited to cover the conference.
Dr Frank-Jürgen Richter, chairman of the Horasis Global Visions Community, tells us: “Horasis has created a strong partnership with China.
“It is my sincere hope that the 2017 Horasis China Meeting will further promote win-win economic relations, stimulate innovation and provide business opportunities for corporations from China and the world.”
Previously, Horasis has been held in cities including Geneva, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Lisbon and The Hague.
Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Hosting such a prestigious event is a great chance to showcase the Sheffield City Region as a centre for knowledge and enterprise to an international audience.
“We are looking forward to demonstrating how our cutting-edge research and innovation provides some outstanding opportunities for investment, which could boost regional growth and jobs.”
Petra Billing, Office Managing Partner at DLA Piper, said: “DLA Piper is proud to sponsor the Horasis China meeting. This is a real accolade for the Sheffield City Region and a fantastic opportunity for businesses to demonstrate what they can offer to the Asian market and beyond.
“The Sheffield City Region has a lot to entice those keen to partner with and invest in a dynamic and ambitious region which is demonstrating strong growth and has a solid world renowned reputation for quality and talent.
“As a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries, including China, we are uniquely positioned to help clients and businesses with their legal needs around the world wherever they do business across all sectors. ”
For myself, I am very sure that we will see a huge stimulus to business, investment and international relations from this unique and inspiring event.
The whole of the Sheffield City Region deserves congratulations for bringing this world-leading event here.