Furthering links between Essex and China

East of England-Jiangsu Joint Committee meeting October 2015Essex International, Essex County Council’s international trade team and Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Growth at Essex County Council, are currently on a business visit to China where they have just held the second meeting of the East of England-Jiangsu Joint Committee to celebrate a year of joint working and to plan for the year ahead. This comes on the back of an existing 26-year relationship between Jiangsu Province and Essex.

The Joint Committee was set up last year following a visit of Jiangsu Governor Li Xueyong to Essex to promote two-way investment and trade in the areas of:

  • Science and technology
  • Education
  • Culture
  • Health
  • Social care
  • Environment protection
  • Sustainable development

About the Joint Committee

Essex International manages the long standing East of England-Jiangsu partnership on behalf of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, helping businesses, schools, universities, vocational colleges, museums, cities and regions develop profitable partnerships. This has increased exports to China and attracted inward investment to the East of England.

“The links between Essex and Jiangsu have now been in place for 26 years, and have developed from a cultural and educational tie to an important economic and trade partnership.

We have in many ways been ahead of the game in terms of building an ongoing relationship with China, and have seen real tangible benefits from this relationship, bringing around £14 million pounds into the Essex economy, and in recent years broadening of these links to include Suffolk and Norfolk.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Growth, Essex County Council

Achievements of the Joint Committee

The Joint Committee has already enabled strong partnerships to be formed between companies and organisations in Essex and Jiangsu. These include…

  • VitalCare an Essex based medical device company who set up a 3200sqm manufacturing factory Nanjing in summer 2015
  • Running Professional training courses for Chinese GP’s and firefighters and giving them the opportunity to learn from the UK
  • Student and teacher exchange visits between Felsted School and Yangzhou Middle School (amongst others)
  • Museum exchanges between Colchester, Ipswich and Nanjing Museums to promote British and Chinese culture
  • Business development projects between the East of England and the International Technology Transfer Centre of Jiangsu Department of Science and Technology (amongst others)

Future plans

2nd meeting of the East of England-Jiangsu Joint CommitteeIn a joint agreement the East of England will continue to develop mutually beneficial relationships and exchanges, civic, cultural and commercial and will introduce potential partners and buyers. The East of England will identify a list of projects for investment in the region, and Jiangsu will promote these projects to potential Chinese investors.

As well as broadening trade and investment links the Joint Committee relationship will promote the sharing of knowledge, cultural links and professional training.

About EI

Essex International works with companies and organisations to help them make the most of the opportunities of a UK and Chinese market across a number of specific business themes . . .

  • Export to China – we connect your company to interested buyers in China
  • Inward Investment from China – we help UK regions attract inward investment
  • Student Recruitment in China- we help recruit students from China for universities, colleges and schools
  • Development of Chinese Professionals – we provide training to Chinese professionals through UK professional training institutions

Essex International (EI), Essex County Council’s (ECC’s) international trade team, is currently on a business visit to China to boost links between the East of England and China’s Jiangsu province which could lead to millions of pounds of investment in Essex.

Find out more about Essex International at – www.EssexInternational.org

Peter Manning
Peter Manning

Head of Essex International

+44 (0) 7907 025 155


Extensive 'in market' experience in China, India and the UK. 15 years in the fields of inward investment, international trade, international realtionships and business development. His experience of helping UK and Chinese businesses, universities and governments do business together has given Peter detailed knowledge of how to do business in China and a wide range of contacts. Peter has an MBA from Henley Business School (Reading University), and was awarded an OBE in 2019 in the New Year’s Honours List for UK/China Relations.