Language key to China deals following Brexit

The English language will play a major part in securing deals with China when Britain leaves the EU, Matthew Rous, HM Consul-General in Bristol’s sister city of Guangzhou and Guangdong Province told business people on his first visit to Bristol.

Speaking at an event organised by the Bristol & West of England China Bureau he said that Chinese businesses were watching with interest as events have unfolded.

The China Pow Wow held at Watershed, Bristol was sponsored by the University of the West of England and was the first event of its kind following the referendum.

Businesses took the opportunity to quiz the Consulate General on how the referendum vote was likely to affect business with China – with both inward investment into the UK and West Country businesses exporting goods and expertise to China in the spotlight.

He said: “Chinese businesses looking for a gateway into the European single market are watching with keen interest as Britain transitions to a new kind of relationship with the EU.

“The fundamentals which make Britain a good base for Chinese business won’t change. First and foremost comes the English language, which is the language of international commerce, followed closely by our liberal business and legal environment and the creativity and innovation of Britain’s population.”

“The team at the British Consulate-General Guangzhou including especially my colleagues at UKTI will continue to provide all appropriate support to UK companies doing business in South China, helping to open doors there and to maintain and expand the trade which is already in place.”

Chief Executive of the China Bureau Dianne Francombe said: “The Brexit outcome will mean that our global international partnerships are more important to us and the relationship with Guangzhou and Guangdong Province, which has been strengthened in recent years will provide a gateway to China for the West of England region.”

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