Business leaders from twinned cities almost 6,000 miles apart have endorsed a unique agreement calling for greater trading ties between their commercial ports.
The “Memorandum of Understanding” was signed during a visit to Bristol by representatives from the port authority at Guangzhou, the capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong and situated on the Pearl River.
Organised by the West of England China Bureau — established to encourage greater mutual understanding and trade between the two countries — the renewed memorandum was officially signed by the Bristol port’s chief executive, Simon Bird, and its managing director, David Ord, and Madam Yuan Yue on behalf of the Guangzhou delegation.
“Agreements such as these have particular significance for Chinese business people and are key to helping local firms unlock some of the fantastic trading opportunities waiting for them in Guangdong,” explained the China Bureau’s chief executive, Dianne Francombe.
Although the two ports are vastly different in size – Guangzhou has 854 berths and Bristol just 35 — the Chinese delegation were impressed by the location of the Bristol facility, making it an ideal distribution base for the rest of the UK.
“The delegation was influenced by the level of sophisticated organisation at Bristol Port and more particularly the excellent use of every piece of land,” Francombe said. “They were also interested to learn about private investment opportunities and how the port operates outside of Government controls.
“These are all reasons why our visitors from Guangzhou were delighted by their visit and hope to benefit from sharing learning in the years to come as well as identifying trading opportunities,” she added.
Bristol and West of England China Bureau collaborates with organisations in China and the UK, such as provincial and municipal authorities and city councils, as well as other organisations working to promote international trade, knowledge, culture, and leisure services. It is also recognised by the Chinese Embassy.
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