Trade Mission – China

Newcastle City Council, UKTI & Newcastle University China Trade Mission


  • Newcastle City Council, UKTI and Newcastle University have agreed to join up to develop a trade mission to China in March 2012 (draft programme attached)
  • The mission will promote Newcastle’s renewables/ green technology/ hi-tech industries (and other key sectors that are seeking to develop opportunities in China) & will focus on central China.
  • There will be an opportunity to visit all or just some of the central China locations, detailed below, depending on individual business requirements.  
  • UKTI will organise business to business meetings tailored to meet business needs
  • UKTI will provide funding support for SME’s participating in the trade mission.


Central China has been chosen as the location for the Newcastle trade mission – Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Zhengzhou, Henan Province and Wuhan, Hubei Province. Meetings will also take place in the entry & exit points of Beijing & Shanghai.

The trade mission will take advantage of major Chinese government programmes to attract more foreign business and investment to help stimulate economic growth in the less developed regions of China’s central provinces. Foreign companies can more easily negotiate preferential treatment and incentives here than in the more economically advanced areas of China.

The emerging cities of central China offer huge potential for business due to their impressive recent growth. Forecasts indicate that six Chinese provinces will be as big as Russia, Spain or Canada by 2020. In addition, the markets of large, established cities such as Beijing and Shanghai are maturing.

Why a joint Council, UKTI & university delegation?

In the Chinese political system, local authorities play a gatekeeper role for access to business and educational institutions. Local officials have widespread powers over land sales, infrastructure, property construction, natural resources and foreign direct investment. The role of Newcastle City Council is to gain access to the highest levels of local government to facilitate business to business links and research partnerships. 

Overview of the economy of trade mission locations

Taiyuan, Shanxi Province

Taiyuan is an industrial city in the coal belt of northern China, capital of Shanxi province in China’s central region and 250 miles east of Beijing. It has a population of approx. 3.4 million. Newly constructed high-speed railway has shortened the journey time between Taiyuan and Beijing to less than three hours on a distance of 600 km.

Taiyuan has a large industrial base – energy, metallurgy, machinery and chemical industry are the four key industries. It produces cement and has a large chemical-industrial complex. Shanxi province has vast coal resources and the largest group of coal companies in China, which have attracted investment in related sectors, e.g. railways and highway building, metallurgy, coal-related chemical research and other heavy industries. Shanxi’s fossil energy consumption is almost 100% dependent on coal. Its annual energy and coal consumption are both the second highest in China, yet its GDP is ranked 21st (RMB737bn in 2009), reflecting poor energy efficiency. There is therefore a big potential market for green economy technology.

Zhengzhou, Henan Province

Henan’s economy is in the top 10 largest provincial economies in China. Zhengzhou is a key north-south, east-west transport hub. Domestic and international investment in logistics and transportation has established Zhengzhou as a major trading hub and is generating growth opportunities in a variety of industries, such as energy, environmental protection and infrastructure. Zhengzhou is becoming the financial centre in central China.

Key industries are: coal mining, food processing, textiles, automotive and electronics. The following are projects which the city government is promoting in the next five years:

  • Construction of second runway and terminal at Zhengzhou International Airport
  • Investment of RMB 22 billion to build 100 electricity transformers
  • Construction of four rural hospitals and 30 community health service centres

Wuhan, Hubei Province

Newcastle University has excellent links with research and educational institutions in Wuhan. They will visit Wuhan during the trade mission to further develop these. UKTI will support businesses to develop business meetings. This detail has to be added to the visit programme.

Wuhan is an important centre for trade, finance, transportation, information technology and education in central China. Major industries include: optic-electronic, automobile & steel manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, bio-engineering, new materials industry and environmental protection. Wuhan ranks third in China in overall strength of science and technology. It has three national development zones and four science and technology development parks, as well as numerous enterprise incubators and over 350 research institutes. Wuhan also has eight national colleges and universities and fourteen public colleges and universities.

Further information

For further information on the trade mission and to discuss your business’s potential involvement and financial support available, please contact:

Lorraine O’Dea, Newcastle City Council Tel.: 0191 211 5012 Email: lorraine.o’[email protected]