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ECBF 2019

Transcending Borders:  Immigration and Investment into the UK

Date and Time: Thursday 25th April, 13.30 – 18.30 pm

Venue: Howard Kennedy LLP, 1 London Bridge, London, SE1 9BG

The debate on immigration and its impacts on the economy, local resources and community cohesion has been heightened since the Brexit referendum in 2016. Over the last 2 years EU migrants have dropped significantly but those from non-EU countries have risen considerably. UK immigration policies have been changing and will likely continue to change.

Our Panellists, who are experts in immigration, trade and investment, will share their insights on recent changes in immigration regulations, as well as highlight where immigration enhances our economy and society.

Please go to Eventbrite for more information and to book.


You Can Do It – Business, Trade and Investment between UK and China

Venue: WSP, The Mailbox, Level 2, 100 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RT

Date and Time:  Wednesday 1st May, 17.30 to 20.30 pm

Whilst the West Midlands is the only region in the UK to have a positive trade balance with China, we cannot afford to be complacent. Global changes are affecting China’s economy, which will impact on us. Also, as we face uncertainties over our trading relationship with Europe, we need to expand our trade with other countries, especially China.

During the evening, a panel of professional and business speakers will share their experience and insights on doing business in China, as well as economic trends in China to help you with your UK-China business strategies

Please go to Eventbrite for more information and to book.


West Midlands China Strategy

Venue: Aston Business School, Birmingham

Date and Time: Tuesday 25th June, 13.30 – 18.30 pm

A half day conference with industry leaders and academic experts to discuss and scope the West Midlands China Strategy for trade and investment.  More information to follow.


ECBF Annual Dinner

Birmingham, 19th February at the at the Chinese Community Centre


Understanding and providing professional services to Chinese High Net Worth Individuals

London, June 2018

Chinese high net worth individuals are investing in the UK for both business and family reasons.  Business M&As, properties, legal services, citizenship schemes and education services are always on their top list. To understand them well is the key to long term business success.  On 21st June, ECBF together with Quilter Cheviot held an open discussion panel on ‘Understanding and providing professional services to Chinese High Net Worth Individuals’.  The panel members, after introducing themselves, answered questions on what motivates these individuals, the ‘culture of yes and no’, the problems they face and how professional networks can best support them.

The panellists who are experts from the East and the West were:

  • Andrew Gavin, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Bank of China Private Banking Department
  • Cecilia Xu Lindsey, Barrister, Arbitrator, 9 Stone Buildings
  • Jonathan McCall, Investment Director and head of Tier 1, Quilter Cheviot
  • Lili Zhang, China Specialist, London Residential Development, Savills


Real Estate Investment and Opportunities from China

London, March 2018

The event on 21st March, hosted by Weightmans, consisted of a panel of professionals who shared their experience and expertise on real estate investment and opportunities from China.

  1. Ben Raywood, Savills is responsible for sourcing data both in the investment and occupational markets.  He provided a detailed overview and outlook of the Central London office market.  His colleague, Lawrence Bowles gave an informative account of the residential market outlook in London.
  2. Zo Hoida, Weightmans, has worked on property acquisitions and disposals, development, landlord and tenant, secured lending and social housing, as well as several major high profile regeneration projects  and for Chinese investors on the purchase, redevelopment and management of investment property.   She looked at aspects of Chinese policy including the Belt & Road Initiative and the opportunities these present for investment into UK Regeneration projects.
  3. There was a video link with Alejandro Ripoll, a lawyer in Mexico, who shared his experience of working with Chinese clients on a huge regeneration project in Mexico.


China Outbound Investment – Challenges and Opportunities for UK and London

London, October 2017

England China Business Forum (ECBF) and Moore Stephens have invited a panel of industrialists and professionals to share their experience and expertise on ‘China outbound investment – challenges and opportunities for UK and London’.   The speakers consisted of:

  1. John McLean OBE, the Chairman of China Resolutions and a Director of China Britain Business Council, shared  his insights into the trends, challenges and opportunities of business investments between China and UK, especially the impact of China’s One Belt One Road ambitions
  2. Geyang Huang, Head of China at London and Partners, provided an update on the status of Chinese investment in London, any policies or strategies London may have around China and some case examples of recent investments
  3. Marty Lau, a partner at Moore Stephens LLP, shared his practical experience and lessons learned from supporting Chinese companies to acquire and invest in UK and European companies.

The seminar and the panel discussion following the speakers was moderated by Dr Yeow Poon, the President of England China Business Forum (ECBF).


You Can Do it – Trading with China

Birmingham, June 2017

On the evening of June 28th, about 40 people gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham to listen to a panel of industrialists and business people share their experience of trading between UK and China.

The seminar began with Andy Moss, a Director from Lloyds Bank, giving a demonstration of the bank International Trade Portal, an online facility that supports businesses in finding new overseas markets,  by providing comprehensive data on trade flows in the world.  For more information please see

The next speaker was James Westwood who talked about his experience of starting up a business in China, the opportunities for exports to China and the resources available to support UK companies.  James is now a business advisor with the China Britain Business Council.

Candy Yu then followed up with her experience of starting an import/export business in the UK.  She emphasised the importance of e-commerce as there are over 300 million online shoppers in China and online sales has grown annually by 22% on average in recent years.  She gave some tips on selling in China as well as some of the products Chinese consumers would buy.

The seminar concluded with Steve Brittan, the Managing Director of BSA Technologies Ltd, with many years of experience in China sharing his business insights on working with Chinese partners and the importance of building up good working relationships and quality procedures.

During the discussion, practical questions raised include how to protect a product, why some Chinese firms appear unresponsive to trade requests and how would a Chinese company working in Africa competitively source suppliers from the UK.

The presentations by James Westwood and Candy Yu are available below:

Entering the Chinese Market – James Westwood and China Import and Export – Candy Yu




ECBF Annual Dinner

Birmingham, January 2017

Over 30 people attended the ECBF Annual Dinner 2017 at the Chinese Community Centre in BirmingDSC_3661ham.  The evening began with dances from Wan Sheung, a lovely dance group based in the Centre.  There were 2 talks:

  • Dr Yeow Poon, the President of ECBF,  gave a stimulating presentation on trends and impacts of Brexit in China-UK trade and investment.
  • Bill Good, the President of BCBF, shared his experiences and interesting anecdotes of a recent trip he made to China.

A lively discussion following the presentations, which continued through the dinner as people took to the floor to introduce themselves and share their views.

For a copy of the presentation: ECBF Annual Dinner 2017


Chinese Real Estate Investment into the Midlands

Birmingham, November, 2016

An audience of around 40 people with a mix of backgrounds from the professions, industry and post-graduate students to property entrepreneurs and developers attended a Birmingham China Business Forum event hosted by Weightmans on 3rd November 2016.


Three speakers gave interesting perspectives on the opportunities for property investment in the Midlands.

  • Richard Brown, former Development Director of Grand Central Birmingham, outlined where Birmingham is currently in relation to real estate investment and projects, and the opportunities for growth that exist.
  • Yifeng Li, a Chinese entrepreneur based 6 years in the UK, explained the reasons for property investment growth in China and gave insights as to why Chinese people like to invest in real estate in the UK.
  • Haydn Rogan, Tax Partner at Weightmans provided some valuable explanations as to what the relevant property taxes are in the UK, the recent changes made by the Government over the last 5 years or so and the reasons behind these.

For further details see report-on-china-business-event-3-11-16

For copies of the presentations: (1) the-midlands-investment-landscape  (2) chinese-real-estate-investment  (3) chinese-real-estate-investment-tax-changes


Connecting Birmingham Future and Chinese Future

Birmingham, May 2016


With the support of FleetMilne Property, about 40 young professionals from Birmingham Future and Chinese Future, together with some members of Birmingham China Business Forum, gathered together on 26 May 2016 for an evening of getting to know each other, making new friends and business networking.  A delicious buffet was provided by Chung Ying Central.

We want this to be the start of a great collaboration between Birmingham China Business Forum , Chinese Future and Birmingham Future.  A Facebook page has been set up (England China Business Forum) where further social interactions and networking can continue.  We will also be running further collaborative events in the future.


Collaboration – the Key to China Success

Birmingham, March 2016

The Birmingham China Business Forum (BCBF) chalked up another success with the announcement by members, Weightmans, of their role in the acquisition of a regeneration opportunity in Wolverhampton by a Chinese investor.

BCBF President, Bill Good, said ‘We believe very firmly, as of course do all serious observers, that China’s role in the world economy will continue to be of huge significance. If the opportunities are to be taken up by smaller businesses here (rather than just international giants) then the collaboration in terms of connections and insight will be vital. We have been delighted to facilitate this with this project for Weightmans.

The Wolverhampton project involves a Grade II listed building in a commanding position overlooking Queen Square in the heart of Queen street in Wolverhampton, and comprises a mix of retail units on the ground floor and office accommodation (with planning permission for a change to residential) above. The property has been acquired by the Liu family, a Chinese investor.

Bill Good went on to say, “Other successful examples of this collaborative work have included the delivery of training programmes for Chinese government officials and businesses, working with local development agencies in China and other intelligence sharing. Members of the network are currently investigating other business and investment including a range of education and cultural exchange activities.  We are always very keen to extend the network and bring in any other interested business.”

For further details on the Wolverhampton project please contact:  Zo Hoida (

Note: Birmingham China Business Forum is part of a wider network, the England China Business Forum (ECBF), dedicated to building better business links with China. The network was established in Birmingham in 2013 and runs an annual programme of events to foster and promote the interests of participants in growing business opportunities between UK and China.


ECBF Annual Dinner: China – The Opportunity for Greater Birmingham

Birmingham, January 2016

As 2016 began  with some concerns over the slowdown of the Chinese economy, the opportunities and risks for Birmingham was discussed during a joint event by the Birmingham Business Focus (BBF) and Birmingham China Business Forum (BCBF).  The event was held on 23rd January 2016 in the Birmingham Chinese Community Centre.BCBF BBF China Presentation

Dr Yeow Poon, the President of England China Business Forum (ECBF) and Chair of the Birmingham Chinese Community Centre, presented an overview of macro economic factors and suggested that although there will be some short term and possibly long term pain for some industries, there are other areas of potential growth.

Three areas were highlighted.  Firstly, even as manufacturing declined in China, the service industry has continued to grow and has overtaken manufacturing as a percentage of GDP.  Secondly, the online shopping market in China grew at an annualised rate of 42.7% in the last 5 years and is expected to continue growing.  Thirdly, China’s ambition to rebuild the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road will drive growth in Europe, Africa and Asia over the next 25 years.

The presentation was followed by a stimulating discussion and a Chinese meal provided by the Birmingham Chinese Community Centre.


Bringing the Tower Cranes Back From China

Birmingham, November 2015

A property Investment hosted by Weightmans LLP on 4th November 2015.  A prestigious panel of speakers explained what property investment in Birmingham is all about, why what is happening is happening, and you will hear first hand from a Chinese investor about their experiences of investing in property developments in Birmingham.

The panel included:

  • Ed Gamble, Head of Investment, CBRE
  • Richard Bowser, Property Investor News
  • PGC Capital, Shanghai

Special Guests including: Anthony McCourt – Court Collaboration, Richard Brown – Grand Central, Bob Ghosh – K4 Architects, Michael Dong – Investor Property Solutions, this is tipped to be THE event on the Real Estate calendar and not one to be missed.

Investing in Manufacturing: What are the opportunities for Chinese investments in the Midlands

Birmingham, April 2015

Many Chinese firms and individuals are looking eagerly to invest outside China.  Until recently, much Chinese outward investment tended to focus on infrastructure and real estate. This pattern has repeated itself in the UK generally and in this region specifically.  There has been significant Chinese investments into Birmingham and the wider Midlands in the automotive sector with SAIC and Changan establishing R and D and other operations here. In addition, Geely have just announced a major increase in investment in their London Taxi Company subsidiary in Coventry. There have also been strategic acquisitions such as Coventry Climax now expanding into production in China and even international deals such as the Chinese purchase of Pirelli.

On 23rd April, BCBF and Barker Brettell LLP brought together a panellist of leading experts from manufacturing, investment, banking and legal sectors to discuss the scale of future Chinese investment diversifying into supporting a wider range of manufacturing (large and small) that contributes to continuous development of the industrial strength in the West Midlands.

The panel included:

  • James Ng, JN Legal Consulting and a former solicitor with Wragge & Co, works to bring Chinese investment into Birmingham.
  • Ms Jing Ding, Manager, Birmingham Branch, Bank of China (UK Ltd)
  • Chris Brown, Corporate Finance Director of Central Finance, specialises in raising finance for both small and large businesses.
  • Rachel Eade, MBE, leads the automotive sector in the Business Growth Service, which is funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.