It brought 300 international delegates to the city region and showcased our excellence to the world.
And now leaders at Sheffield City Region (SCR) have reflected on the success of the Horasis China Meeting – and say they hope it will be the first of many.
Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “To have delegates from across the world, at the very top of their respective fields, in Sheffield talking about investment, trade and worldwide economic development was a wonderful thing to see. I know lots of very high-level conversations took place and look forward to seeing the resulting investments that I am confident will follow.
“At the same time, Horasis was a rare opportunity to showcase Sheffield on an international scale. Delegates were staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, shopping in our thriving city centre and also visiting venues as prestigious and varied as Sheffield Cathedral, the Cutler’s Hall and Chatsworth House. The additional income from two days of the event will have been significant for these businesses.
“For the first time, Sheffield City Region has proved it can host an international conference on this scale. We will be looking for further opportunities to build on this success and hopefully host similar events in the future.”
The Horasis China Meeting was brought to Sheffield City Region by the Horasis Global Visions Community, which organises the annual event in cities across the world. Co-host was the China Federation for Industrial Economics (CFIE).
Dr Richter said: “Horasis was glad to hold the 2017 edition of the Horasis China Meeting in Sheffield.
“Our delegates very much enjoyed being in town – many are now looking into investment opportunities. I think we have been able to promote Sheffield as one of Europe’s major hubs for Chinese businesses.”
Horasis was also organised in conjunction with two academic partners, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, as well as Visit Britain and the Government’s Department for International Trade.
Vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Chris Husbands, said: “The Horasis China Meeting was an outstanding success, with delegates extremely impressed with our knowledge, enterprise and outstanding investment prospects.
“Opportunities to raise the region’s profile with an important global audience are invaluable in helping to attract the inward investment required to create jobs and growth. Securing this prestigious international conference was a real coup for the Sheffield City Region.”
The Horasis China Meeting began on Sunday 5 November with a full day of panel discussions and meetings at the St Paul’s Mercure Hotel. This was followed by an official opening ceremony, and then a dinner at the Cutler’s Hall where speakers included Sir Nigel Knowles, Horasis founder and chairman Frank-Jurgen Richter, and Marian Sudbury, Director of Exports & Investment for the Northern Powerhouse.
Marian Sudbury said: “I was delighted to take part in a conference that demonstrated the significant potential of Sheffield and of the Northern Powerhouse to an audience of Chinese investors.
“As an international economic department, DIT recognises the importance of bilateral trade and investment between China and the Northern Powerhouse and events like Horasis China are fundamental to strengthening this relationship.”
Discussion topics on Sunday included the world-class assets of Sheffield City Region; innovation and creativity in the Chinese economy, and the Northern Powerhouse.
On Monday, 6 November, a further full day of events took place, this time at the City Hall. A dinner took place that evening at Sheffield Cathedral, where guests included author, broadcaster and lawyer Richard Taylor, who spoke on How to Read A Church.
Themes discussed by the delegates included China’s Five-Year Plan, the impact of Brexit on trade, and China’s global expansion.
The following day, delegates enjoyed a visit to Chatsworth House, where they toured the property, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
One of the highlights of the event for businesses in the city region was the Horasis China Business Awards, which took place at Sheffield Cathedral on Monday night.
Awards went to the following winners:
- High Growth Award: Scarborough Group International
- High Impact Award: New Era Development
- China Collaboration Award: Confucius Institute at the University of Sheffield
- Best in China Award: Appt Online Solutions Ltd
Scarborough Group founder Kevin McCabe said: “I am thrilled that SGI has won the High Growth Award.
“As a UK and international investor and developer we established our Far Eastern Headquarters in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong some 15 years ago.
“Strong relationships and friendships have been established by us in the Far East over this period, which has led to partners we have supported in their own territories, now investing in SGI’s developments, specific to the Northern Powerhouse, and of course here in my home city of Sheffield.
“We are working on further initiatives with Sheffield City Council which are earmarked to also involve Far Eastern partners in the years to come.”
Sponsors of Horasis included many major city region organisations, such as DLA Piper, Scarborough Group International, Trebbi, KPMG and B Braun.
Petra Billing, Office Managing Partner at DLA Piper, was at the conference. She said: “”DLA Piper were very proud to sponsor the successful Horasis China meeting. It was fantastic to see so many international businesses here in the region.
“The conference showcased brilliantly the attributes of the Sheffield City Region, the investment opportunities and allowed businesses to demonstrate our quality offering to the Asian market and beyond.”