CBI memberWillis recently announced that the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) granted it approval to open a new office in Chongqing in southwestern China, marking a first for a foreign-owned broker and Willis' 21st office in the country.
Commenting on the new office, Willis China CEO Mitchell Ma said, "As Chongqing, and indeed China, continue to grow at pace, so too do the risk management requirements of their commercial sectors. This move will enable us to be close to our clients and markets so that we can fully understand their challenges and provide them with the best quality services, backed by Willis' global resources.
"We are proud to open an office in this very important city and appreciate the support that we have had from CIRC in approving our application. In return, we will do our best to bring added value and new services to Chongqing to play our part in the further development of the regional insurance market."
Willis, which has the largest branch network of any international broker in China, employs 330 Associates specialising in offering risk management and insurance services to medium- and large-sized enterprises in China.
Please click here to read the full press release by Willis.
The schedule of the missions is as follows: Zhengzhou and Wuhan (20-22 February 2012), Nantong and Yancheng (27-29 February 2012), Kunming (23-24 February 2012), Chongqing (05-06 March 2012), Hangzhou and Ningbo (07-09 March 2012), and Foshan and Shunde (28-29 March 2012).
These missions will offer an excellent introduction to these cities and the opportunities that they offer.
Participants in the missions will enjoy:
• Access to high-level officials • Business workshops • Knowledge about specific opportunities
Please click here for full details on the mission to Nantong and Yancheng and here for the mission to Hangzhou and Ningbo.
CBI memberLafarge recently opened its first Sustainable Construction Lab in Chongqing in southwestern China.
Located at Lafarge Shui On's Nanshan plant in Chongqing, the new lab develops new and advanced construction materials products and solutions for its customers in China. The 1,000 square metre facility is an extension of Lafarge's R&D Centre in Lyon and the first of its kind opened worldwide in the Lafarge Group.
Lafarge also signed an alliance agreement with Chongqing University which will focus on developing innovative construction materials and final products. The new partnership will include training and research programmes with PhD students.
Lafarge devotes more than €150 million each year to R&D of technology and innovation in products, systems, and industrial processes, with more than 60% of this budget dedicated to sustainable construction.
Please click here to read the full press release by Lafarge.
We are delighted to let you know that UK Now, the biggest British arts festival in China ever, will be held next year between April and November, featuring hundreds of world-class events in 15 cities across China.
Key goals of UK Now include showcasing the quality, diversity, breadth, and innovation of artistic Britain and celebrating China and the UK as consecutive hosts of the Olympic Games.
Please find attached below a bilingual overview of UK Now.
UK Now's events programme will be wide-ranging and inclusive, covering all the art forms. Events will include exhibitions, concerts, performances, talks, workshops, collaborative projects, online activities, competitions, etc.
UK Now is sponsored by CBI members including British Airways, Burberry, Diageo, HSBC, InterContinental Hotels Group, Norton Rose, Prudential, and Standard Chartered.
For more information about UK Now please contact either Ms. Hannah Douglas or Ms. Sam Christie.
The original report, published in September 2008, focused on the market expansion and development of China's regional cities and the relevance of this to British businesses.
However, the last three years have seen major changes to the international economic landscape, with the global financial crisis and UK recession having a deep impact on British businesses and their internationalisation prospects.
The new report presents the findings of research conducted this year.
Please click here to access the latest version of the 'Opportunities for UK Businesses in China's Regional Cities' report.
Earlier this week, CBI memberFord Motor announced that sales for Ford-brand passenger vehicles in China rose 40% in September compared to August, with 28,669 wholesale units sold.
Ford China has already sold 385,957 wholesale units so far this year, up 10% compared to the first three quarters of 2010.
Commenting on Ford's rapidly growing sales in China, Joe Hinrichs, chairman and CEO of Ford China and president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said, "China accounts for 60% of our Asia Pacific and Africa sales now and will be a leading part of our sales growth in the next decade. Ford's growth plan is now in high gear. By 2015 we will have 15 new vehicles in China that offer a full line-up of high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient vehicles with smart technologies that Chinese consumers want and value."
Earlier this year, Ford introduced its patented turbo-direct injection EcoBoost technology to China, which provides up to a 20% better fuel economy and a 15% reduction in emissions in petrol engines.
To date, Ford and its partners have invested $3.5 billion in China. Most recently, Ford and its Chinese partner Changan Automobile Group launched construction of a new $350 million transmission plant in Chongqing in southwestern China.
Please click here to read the full press release by Ford.
The Position Paper is the product of six months of consultation, which involved hundreds of companies and individuals from European businesses operating across China.
The report includes chapters on a wide range of sectors, including aviation, construction, information and communication technology, logistics, maritime transport, travel, banking & securities, insurance, private equity, etc.
The report also includes chapters on numerous cities and regions across China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, the Pearl River Delta, Shanghai, Shenyang and Tianjin.
Highlights from the 2011/2012 Position Paper include:
• China's strategic importance for global companies is rapidly increasing. • Key goals outlined in China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) such as upgrading the industrial sector, developing the service sector and encouraging innovation and green development match the strengths of European companies in managerial know-how, the provision of services and green and advanced technology. • The Position Paper brings together a significant number of recommendations for both Chinese and European policymakers.
CBI member AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, has been appointed by BASF Polyurethane (Chongqing) Company Limited and Chongqing Chemical and Pharmaceutical (Group) Holding Company Limited (CCPHC) as the project management contractor for the development of a new 400,000-tonnes-per-year MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) facility at Changshou, Chongqing, China.
This state-of-the-art facility will form the centre of an integrated chemical production complex operated by the Changshou Economic & Technological Development Zone. MDI is the main raw material used for the production of polyurethanes.
The value of AMEC's multi-million dollar three-year contract has not been announced but the overall capital cost of the complex will be over US$ 5 billion.
AMEC's role is to provide project management services and interface coordination in relation to the CCPHC and BASF facilities as part of an integrated project management team.
“The award and successful execution of this significant project will further strengthen AMEC's position as the leading provider of project management services in China,” said Ross Gibson, Regional Director of AMEC's China operations. “We are proud that AMEC has been selected to help deliver this project to the highest safety, environmental and low carbon emission standards.”
The British Embassy in Beijing held a very useful workshop on UK visa applications yesterday at the UK Visa Application Centre in Beijing.
There are a number of different visa routes available to enter the UK for business and work purposes, including business visit visas, long-term visit visas, the Points-Based System including visas for highly skilled workers, intra-company transfers, investors and entrepreneurs.
When submitting a UK visa application, applicants should be aware of the following:
• Applications are only accepted in English (translated guidance available online) • Applicants are responsible for proving that they meet the rules/points of their application (checklist available online) • If you submit a forged document or lie on the application form, you will be refused and banned from making any further application for 10 years. • The UKBA has set the target of processing non-settlement applications in 15 working days.
The UKBA also operates the Business Fast Track (BFT) scheme in China.
The BFT scheme is currently free to join, and members enjoy a priority service. Visa applications for BFT members are normally returned in three to five working days.
Business visit visa applications sponsored by a BFT member require minimal paperwork whilst long-term business visit visas of up to five years are available without the need for the applicant to have previously travelled to the UK.
BFT members can submit their application at any of the UKBA's Visa Application Centres across China.
To join the Business Fast Track scheme, your company must:
1. Have sent 10 people to the UK in the previous 12 months