Ambassador Woodward visits Chengdu: In November 2015, Barbara Woodward paid her first solo visit to Chengdu as British Ambassador to China. During her visit, she met with the Executive Vice Governor of Sichuan and the Mayor of Chengdu, visited the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and delivered a speech on joint efforts to a green and low carbon future, visited West China Hospital (the second-largest hospital in China) and promised to invite more of the UK’s healthcare organisations to Go West, and participated in an Empowering Women event to share her personal experiences with female university students on her own growth and career development.
UK Chancellor visits Chengdu: In September 2015, UK Chancellor George Osborne announced a major milestone for the government’s High Speed 2 rail project (HS2), kick-starting the bidding process for phase one of the mega construction project. At least seven new contracts will be opened up to companies, with a total combined value of £11.8 billion.
The Chancellor made the announcement at an event in Chengdu, aimed at wooing some of China’s biggest investors to be part of the project as well as a raft of other major UK infrastructure projects. The Chancellor also showcased a selection of £24 billion worth of investment opportunities in the North of England at the event in Chengdu.
The Chancellor said there are unprecedented opportunities for Chinese investment into the Northern Powerhouse. Infrastructure and regeneration investment projects such as the Atlantic Gateway and Science Central, a cutting-edge development in the heart of Newcastle, were set out in a new Northern Pitchbook that was presented in Chengdu.
Other facts/figures on Chengdu and Sichuan province
Nearly 100 UK companies registered in Sichuan: There are now 94 UK companies registered and doing business in Chengdu and Sichuan province – nine of the 94 are in the world’s top 500 companies – in sectors ranging from financial and professional services, aerospace, engineering, construction, and manufacturing.
China’s fifth most populous city: Chengdu is China’s fifth most populous city
High levels of foreign investment: In the first four months of 2015, Chengdu received US$1.2 billion in contracted foreign investment, up 150% compared to the same period in 2014.
Strong concentration of MNCs: There are over 265 Fortune 500 companies with businese in Chengdu.
Key industries: Key industries in Chengdu include pharmaceuticals, food processing, automotive, aerospace, and metallurgy, finance, ICT, retail, petrochemical, and tourism.
Examples of CBI members in Sichuan province:
In November 2015, the Seaton Plaza, Atkins’ first mixed-use development in Chengdu, opened for business.
- In June 2013, Atkins completed the landscape design for the waterfront in Mianyang, Sichuan province, creating leisure space for the public and interlinking various commercial and residential developments.
- In May 2012, Atkins was commissioned to draw up the Guidelines for the Chengdu North City Regeneration project.
- Benoy: In January 2014, Benoy announced the opening of Chengdu International Finance Square.
- BP: In October 2015, BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), in an expansion of their global partnership, entered into a framework agreement on strategic cooperation covering potential shale gas exploration and production in the Sichuan Basin and future fuel retailing ventures in China and other international partnerships.
- British Airways: In 2013, British Airways launched its direct service between Chengdu and London.
- Deloitte: In October 2013, Deloitte opened its Chengdu office.
- Diageo: In July 2013, Diageo received approval from Chinese authorities to acquire the remaining 47% stake in Sichuan Chengdu Shuijingfang Group Co. Ltd. owned by its Chinese partners.
- PwC: In May 2015, PwC opened its Chengdu office.
- Shell: In March 2012, Shell and China National Petroleum Corporation signed a Production Sharing Contract for shale gas exploration, development, and production in the Fushun-Yongchuan block in Sichuan province.
- UBM: In August 2015, UBM’s second edition of HOTELEX Chengdu Exhibition, organised by UBM China and undertook by the Shanghai UBM Sinoexpo International Exhibition Co. Ltd. and the Sichuan Province Hotel Supplies Industry Association, was held in Chengdu.