Based on 2016 trade statistics, 85% of export goods in the ME region were from the West Midlands, consisting mainly of road vehicles and power generating machinery. Hence, although the ME region as a whole has a trade deficit with China, the West Midlands has a trade surplus.

However, global political changes are affecting China's economy, which can impact on the region's trade and investment relationships with China. There is a need to diversify from a reliance on vehicle exports and to expand exports in services, including tourism. There is also a need to work together more collaboratively, as the Midlands Engine China Strategy identified that a major obstacle to more effective engagement with China is the lack of partnership working amongst key institutions in the region.

'Roads to China - Strategies for building effective relationships with China', organised by Birmingham China Business Forum (BCBF), in collaboration with Universities and Industry Leaders, aims to establish a realistic and practical West Midlands China Strategy, taking into consideration the broader strategies identified in the Midlands Engine China Strategy.

The breakout sessions, co-chaired by an academic and an industry leader, will discuss the following:

1. Status Review

  • What do we know about the sector trade and investment concerning China?
  • What do we not know and need to know?

2. The Issues

  • What do we have to address to improve the sector trade and investment with China?
  • What longer term goals to set, say 2025 and 2030

3. The Next Steps 

  • What actions to take in the next 12 months

The conference is hosted by Aston Business School. To register please click here

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