Making brighter cities

Essex County Council returns from successful trade and inward investment mission to China

ESSEX, UK, July 29, 2013: The ECC International Trade Team had set out a clear schedule to promote inward investment opportunities direct to senior managers of major Jiangsu businesses as well as promote specific products on behalf of Essex businesses to senior procurement officials in municipal governments in the larger Jiangsu cities.

During the visit ECC set up and attended meetings with businesses considering outward investment, those seeking to buy Essex technologies as well as significant meetings with the Mayors and Vice-Mayors of Xuzhou, Wuxi and Nantong. In the course of the meetings discussion over investment from specific areas as well as the development of relationships between Essex and those cities were discussed.

Whilst in Jiangsu ECC were delighted to re-sign this long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Vice Governor Jiangsu and were also pleased to sign another with the Jiangning Hi Tech Industrial Park. ECC have enjoyed a 25 year relationship with Jiangsu, starting back in 1988 which was formalised in 1992 with the signing of a first MOU, whereby the two areas agreed to work together to promote two-way exchanges in the fields of trade, investment, education and culture. The signing of the new MOU with the Jiangning Hi Tech Industrial Park will enable ECC along with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils to promote collaboration in the life science sector including; joint exchange visits, sharing of research findings and development of offshore life science centres.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “This has been one of the most successful missions yet. We have been working with Jiangsu for many years and have been lucky to have had so many successful exchanges in education, business and culture. I am delighted to have re-signed our MOU with the province as well as signed another, to ensure our relationship prospers even further. I look forward over the coming months to see the development of our meetings and the economic growth this will bring to Essex.

As part of the trade mission ECC included in the programme a focus on helping local companies find new export sales. Joining them on the trip were local businesses e2v and Telensa along with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Through the help of ECC they were able to meet with key decision makers in the fields of importing technologies as well as be introduced to the mayors of three major cities.

John Masheder, Director of Thermal Imaging at e2v commented: “e2v has been delighted to join this highly successful ECC led trade mission to the Jiangsu province. Our global reputation as a leader in thermal imaging for fire fighting can only be enhanced by the strong links e2v has been able to develop during this mission, and will prove highly valuable as we look to develop our support for the fire services in China.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill commented: “We were very pleased to be able to join this trade and inward investment mission to Jiangsu. We have been able to reinforce the friendly links between Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Jiangsu Fire Service as underlined in a Memo of Understanding signed between the two organisations during a visit by a Chinese delegation to Service headquarters at Kelvedon Park in July 2010. We have been able to exchange information and skills on fire and rescue management and techniques and were able to promote Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s training offering to senior fire officers in China.

Telensa Managing Director, Will Gibson, said: “This was an extremely important and fruitful visit to China for Telensa, made possible by Essex’s International Trade team. As the UK’s leading ‘smart’ street lighting technology company, we were delighted to have an opportunity to showcase to potential customers in several major Chinese cities the wireless street lighting network that we’re installing in Essex – it’s the largest such system in the world. We are hopeful that these contacts will lead to tangible business for Telensa in what is a significant export market.

Over the coming months ECC will continue to talk and work with the businesses and senior managers they met in order to secure more trade links and in turn economic growth for the county.