02 July 2014
Four Key Cities in Five Days: The story of the Airport City Manchester, China Roadshow
On Sunday 8th June, 2014 – a group of Airport City Ambassadors congregated in Beijing to begin the Airport City Manchester, China Roadshow.
They were all there with one purpose – to promote the Airport City and Greater Manchester proposition to interested Chinese businesses looking to internationalise, using Airport City Manchester as a springboard into Europe and the rest of the world.
In Good Company
The delegation was led by Argent’s David Partridge, on behalf of the Airport City Manchester joint venture partnership. It included MAG’s Chief Executive, Charlie Cornish, and Property Director, John Atkins, along with BCEG’s Managing Director, Mr Xing Yan, and representatives from Marketing Manchester, MIDAS and the Manchester China Forum. In addition, the delegation were joined by senior representatives from UKVI and ICBC.
CBBC (China Britain Business Council) was responsible for organising the events on the ground and for transporting the delegates across China.
Monday 9th June, 2014
The delegation visited four cities, starting with Tianjin – a major advanced manufacturing area of China. Supported by CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade) the presentation was viewed by over 50 attendees.
Simultaneous translation took place and a Q&A session at the end of the presentation saw a number of interested parties keen to understand more details about the project. At the end of the presentation, Sir Richard Leese (via video recording) invited the Chinese audience back to Manchester and thanked them for their time throughout the Roadshow.
After a very successful morning of presentations, lasting two hours including the Q&A, the Airport City key spokespeople took to a two hour long media presentation. Titles such as Economic Daily, China Daily and Beijing Suburbs Daily attended the round table discussion and consequently covered the story in their respective publications.
Monday evening saw the first of the VVIP dinners, 22 senior guests attended the dinner, which was hosted by the UK Ambassador, Sebastian Wood and Charlie Cornish, MAG’s Chief Executive.
Gift bags, including merchandise from our Commercial Partners: Selfridges, Mere Golf Club and Manchester United, were handed to guests as they left the dinner.
Interesting fact: Tianjin is sister city to 22 cities in 18 countries. Tianjin Port has trade relations with over 160 countries and regions in the world. Foreign relations in Tianjin involve many aspects in economy, trade, science and technology, sports and hygiene.
Tuesday 10th June, 2014
The second of the presentations took place in Beijing at the China World Hotel. Over 70 people attended, all very keen to hear more about the Airport City proposition. Questions from the audience focused around visa applications and the ‘Connect’ concierge services.
One very interested member of the audience, who was clearly very keen on Manchester and its international sporting brands, questioned David Partridge (our key note speaker) why David Beckham was not there to promote Airport City and Manchester. Partridge very graciously responded that, sadly, David Beckham was much more expensive!
Immediately after the presentations and networking ended, the delegation left for Shanghai – taking the High Speed Train.
Interesting fact: The High Speed Train reached speeds of over 320 km per hour – taking a total of just under five hours covering a distance of 1,318 kilometres (819 miles).
Wednesday 11th June, 2014
Shanghai’s presentation took place at the Fairmont Peace Hotel with ‘standing room only’ available. The ‘full house’ saw a range of Chinese businesses, from logistics agents to lawyers, all ready to hear about Airport City.
Spokespeople from Airport City then met with leading media titles for another roundtable discussion. The session was covered by publications such as, Shanghai Finance News and Shanghai Business Daily.
The VVIP dinner was attended by 16 senior representatives and Airport City Manchester occupier leads.
Interesting fact: The name Shanghai comes from the Chinese characters meaning “above” for Shang and “sea” for hai, together making up “Upon the Sea” and is the busiest shipping container port worldwide.
Thursday 12th June, 2014
The delegation left Shanghai and headed to Shenzhen on a 2.5 hour flight, leaving just enough time to get ready for the VVIP dinner.
Attended by 15 serious occupier leads, the Chinese banquet was hosted by the Consul General, Alastair Morgan. Business cards were exchanged and guests networked throughout the evening.
Interesting fact: Shenzhen was established as a Special Economic Zone in 1980. Since that time it has grown from a fishing village into a major and economically significant city.
Friday 13th June, 2014
The final leg of the Roadshow saw 70 people visit the Shenzhen Grand Hyatt Hotel to hear about Airport City and to meet the delegation.
There was a real buzz about the place, with media photographers taking pictures throughout the presentations. In particular, people were interested in learning more about the return trip, which is set to take place from the 8th – 12th September, 2014.
As the Roadshow came to an end and the delegation said goodbye, a small group attended a site visit to Huawei’s headquarters for lunch and a tour of its exhibition space.
Interesting fact: Through the company’s 150,000 employees and dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, Huawei has established end-to-end capabilities across the carrier networks, enterprise and consumer markets by providing competitive solutions and services, which have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one-third of the world’s population.