Bristol and West of England China Bureau was instrumental in setting up a meeting in Bath which helped lay the foundations for a deal which will see a major UK manufacturer open a factory in Shandong – China’s third fastest-growing province.
Cheltenham-based Versarien PLC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jinan High Tech Financial Investment Fund for a joint venture to manufacture the UK company’s graphene products in Shandong’s Jinan Innovation Zone.
Graphene is a cutting-edge engineering material, lightweight, thin, flexible, conductive and incredibly lightweight. It is used in electrical and photonics circuits.
Bristol West of England China Bureau Chief Executive Dianne Francombe said: “We helped facilitate the visit of the first delegation from Jinan to Bath back in 2016. There was an aspiration from the Provincial Capital to connect the cities through their historic springs.
“The delegation was keen to discover how the Roman Baths are managed and marketed. The connection led to a second visit. It is fantastic to see yet another example of a UK company reaching out to China to take advantage of the enormous trade opportunities. This agreement builds on another high-level deal we are facilitating in Shandong Province.”
BANES Councillor Martin Veal is a former Cabinet member and vice chairman of Bath Tourism. He is also an appointed advisor to the Mayor of Jinan and various districts. He attended the recent Bureau Pow Wow networking event held at the Century Casino in Bath.
He said: “Bristol and West of England China Bureau was instrumental in setting up the first Jinan visit which led to my involvement and subsequently introducing Versarien to the Jinan Innovation Zone.
“The MoU is the result of two years’ hard work. It is great to be able to combine our business connections in the West of England and help build stronger connections with China.”