CBI memberThe British Film Institute (BFI) recently released the programme for its landmark A Century of Chinese Cinema season from August to October 2014 at BFI Southbank.
The New Waves programme in August showcases films made from 1980 to 1994 when Chinese cinema dominated the international arthouse scene.
The New Directions programme from September to 08 October will celebrate the work made by contemporary filmmakers.
As part of the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), there will be a touring Century of Chinese Cinema highlights programme showing films supplied by the BFI and China Print Archive at selected U.K. venues from July to October. Participating venues include Watershed Bristol (July), Glasgow Film Theatre (July and August), Showroom Sheffield and Chapter Cardiff (both in September), and Queens Film Theatre Belfast (October).
Please click here to read the full press release by the BFI.
In May, new CBI memberWhitbread released its annual report and accounts for 2013/14, reporting a strong expansion by Costa in China, where it operates two joint ventures.
During the year, Costa opened 73 new stores in China, taking its total number of stores to 326 in 30 cities.
Costa has targeted around £2 billion of system sales by 2018, up from the £1.2 billion of system sales last year. This will see Costa reach more than 2,200 UK stores by 2018 at the same time as growing its franchise and equity business internationally, with particular focus on extending its footprint in China. Costa plans to open a further 400 stores in China by 2018.
Please click here to read the full annual report and accounts by Whitbread.
The BFI will continue its exploration of classics and rarely-seen gems of Chinese cinema as A Century of Chinese Cinema unveils its New Waves programme, showcasing films made from 1980 to 1994 when Chinese cinema dominated the international art-house scene.
Please click here to read the full press release by the BFI.
Commenting on the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to the U.K., CBI Deputy Director-General Katja Hall said, "The United Kingdom's trading partnership with China is of critical importance to our economic future.
"From infrastructure projects to digital technology, the U.K. is the top destination for Chinese foreign direct investment in Europe. Premier Li’s visit is a welcome demonstration of the ever-deepening importance of that trading relationship.
"A well-functioning work permit and visa system is vital to ensuring that the U.K. is a vibrant hub for international trade, visitors, and students.
"The new streamlined visa service for all Chinese visitors will help send out a clear message that the U.K. is open for business and welcoming to top global talent. We also need to continue to expand these services to other emerging markets, to further develop our key trade routes."
Please click here to read the full press release by the CBI.
The U.K.-China Visa Alliance (UKCVA) released its latest report "Building on Progress", which makes the case and recommendations for streamlining the U.K. visa application process for Chinese visitors.
Over 200 business leaders across the retail, tourism, luxury, and hospitality sectors attended the launch event in London, and attendees were the first to hear U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May announce new measures to make it even easier for all Chinese tourists to gain a U.K. visa to shop, spend, and stay in the capital and beyond.
Highlights of the Home Office's announcement included:
o A pilot programme was launched last year for tour operators, which allowed them to work from a single form in processing U.K. and Schengen visa applications. The scheme was welcomed by tour operators in China and U.K. business leaders and will now be extended to all Chinese visitors applying to come to the U.K.
o From the autumn, Chinese visitors will be able to use an Irish visitor visa to travel to the U.K., without the need for a separate U.K. visa, and vice versa. The British Irish Visa Scheme will also be launched in India.
o Talks are also ongoing with European partners about further streamlining visa processes with Schengen arrangements to make trips to the U.K. even easier for Chinese visitors.
o Along with increasing alignment on the Schengen applications, a simpler, more user-friendly form for independent travellers will be launched on UKCVA's new, more integrated website. It features improved translation guidance on visa categories and how to apply. It has been designed for full integration on mobile and tablet platforms with a smarter form and more targeted questions translated into Chinese.
Please click here to access the full "Building on Progress" report and here to read the Home Secretary's full speech at the launch event.
On 12 June, the British Ambassador to China welcomed more than 800 British and Chinese guests to the Queen's Birthday Party celebrations in the gardens of his Residence in Beijing.
This year marks the 62nd anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012, the U.K. celebrated her Diamond Jubilee that marked 60 years on the British throne. She is only the second monarch in British history to reach this milestone.
At the event, guests were able to have their photos taken next to the waxwork model of The Queen, which was provided by Madame Tussauds. Madame Tussauds recently opened a flagship store in Beijing.
This year, the event was sponsored by CBI members including BP, Shell, BG Group, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In addition, CBI member Diageo helped provided drinks at the event.
Please click here to read the full press release by the British Embassy in Beijing
Earlier this week, British Consul General to Hong Kong Caroline Wilson addressed the London Stock's (LSE) Greater China Forum event on the topic of London as an RMB offshore centre.
This was the first time that the Forum—the LSE's flagship issuer and investor event in Asia for 2014—was held in Hong Kong. The Consul General explained that the RMB is a priority area for the U.K. Government and outlined the milestones that the U.K. has passed in 2013 and 2014 in establishing itself as the second global RMB hub after Hong Kong, including a currency swap line agreement, receiving the first RQFII quota granted outside of Greater China, and seeing the first European RQFII funds listing on the LSE at the start of 2014.
Commenting on the striking results, the Consul General said, "London's share of the global RMB market jumped from 9% at the end of 2012 to 15% by April of this year. Given the pace of growth in the RMB market overall, this means the volume of RMB activity taking place in London grew by around 150% during 2013."
Please click here to read the full press release by the British Consulate General Hong Kong.