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13th June, 2019

The House of Lords, The East of England’s Elite brands


26th April 2019

Queen’s Awards lunch, The Jockey Club, Tourism in The East of England


8th March 2019

Queen’s Awards lunch, profiling Suffolk technology firm’s to China


21st February 2019

Queen’s Awards lunch, The Jockey Club, supporting elite brands initiative in Suffolk to China


23rd November 2018

Queen’s Awards lunch, Suffolk. The Queen’s Awards are highly respected in China as a mark of excellence


11th September 2018

House of Lords, AI in Agriculture


10th March 2018

House of Lords, Heritage a Culture in the East of England


18th May 2018

Gateway to China

UEA/LinksEast event at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

This lunch is aimed as a follow up to University of East Anglia (UEA) / LinksEast event on tastings by Chinese students of local artisan food and drink on the 27th February. The preferences of the Chinese consumer, in food and drink will be revealed during the meal.


10th May 2018

Cultural and Heritage

Lunch at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Tim Clement–Jones, promoting the East of England, Norfolk and Suffolk, Culture and heritage to China.


24th April 2018

Agricultural Exports

Otley College lunch event, promoting the East of England, Suffolk and Norfolk expertise in Agriculture to China.


19th April 2018


House of Lords lunch, promoting The East of England, Norfolk and Suffolk Agriculture to a visiting Chinese Agricultural Delegation organised by DEFRA.


27th February 2018

Gateway to China

More than 200 Chinese students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) took part in tasting local artisan food and drink from Norfolk and Suffolk.

LinksEast was delighted to be involved with this event. The Gateway to China initiative follows on from the Spirit of Youth campaign when UEA Alumna Jiang Shuying ,a famous Chinese film star,visited the campus in the Summer.


31st January 2018

Artificial Intelligence conference

This lunch was hosted Doug Field, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the topic under discussion was AI and promoting agri-tech, energy and technology across Norfolk and Suffolk to China.

The speaker Prof Dr Detlef Nauck, chief research scientist at BT Technology in Martlesham. This event coincided with the prime minister Theresa May visit to China. China is the UK’s fifth largest export market and this is rapidly growing.


31st January 2018

Theresa May to visit China

Prime Minister Theresa May will pay an official visit to China from 31 January to 2 February, at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the Prime Minister will co-host the bilateral annual prime ministerial meeting with her Chinese counterpart. The Ministry went on to say the visit is of great significance to bilateral ties under the new circumstances, as the two sides agreed to build a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century and usher in a 'golden era' for bilateral ties.

Theresa May will meet with Chinese leaders in discussions on bilateral ties and international and regional issues.

Hua Chunying, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, went on to say: "We hope this visit will deepen political mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, and further advance the China-Britain global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century."

To highlight this visit, The East of England is promoting the latest trade developments with China with an event to coincide with the PM's visit.

LinksEast have organised a feature meeting to promote ICT/AI (Information Communication Technology / Artificial Intelligence) to accentuate how advanced this region is in these fields, and how we propose using this to promote our regions trade in Food/Drink/Agriculture.

The China-UK relationship enjoys continued growth. Currently, the UK is the second largest trading partner, second largest investment destination and second largest actual investment source of China within the European Union.

The event will be hosted by Doug Field, Chairman of New Anglia LEP. Invited guests will be key stakeholders from Norfolk and Suffolk. Speaker will be Professor Detlef Nauck, head of data science research at BT's Research and Innovation Division in Ipswich. He is the leader of a group of international scientists working on Intelligent Data Analysis and Autonomic Systems.

East Anglian Daily Times

Ipswich Star


15th December 2017

Lunch to promote East Anglian food export to China

Adnams hosted a Linkseast-organised event at the newly refurbished Swan in Southwold where University of East Anglia post graduate students promoted locally-sourced East Anglian food to China.

Read the East Anglian Daily Times report for details.


14th November 2017

Free China Cross-Border Ecommerce webinar

Looking to expand in China through an ecommerce-based solution and don’t know where to start?

SaleSupply are hosting an expert insight webinar on how businesses can thrive in the Chinese Ecommerce market. Covering status and developments in the Chinese ecommerce market, social media including WeChat, routes to market with pros and cons, and practical tips to expand into China.

The webinare is free, simply register here for details.


9th October 2017

Gainsborough's House, Suffolk

The LinksEast Dinner will be hosted by Mark Bills, Director of Gainsborough's House.

Guest of Honour at the LinksEast Dinner will be Mark Pendlington, who recently stepped down as Chair of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

In his three-and-a-half years tenure, Mark has secured millions in investment in the region and provided much-needed support to colleges teaching the skilled workforce of tomorrow, to continue that growth.

The LEP estimates to have created 43,500 jobs, 5,700 new businesses, 18,850 homes and pulled £267.2m of private investment into the region. Successes include the £1.4bn Great Eastern Mainline franchise and projects such as Norwich’s Aviation Academy, Easton and Otley College’s construction centre and East Coast College’s energy skills centre.


18th July 2017

House of Lords

This event will be hosted by Lord Clement–Jones CBE. The topic is Arts in East Anglia. This event is being promoted to China and in particular Guangdong Province.

Guangdong Province is located in the southeast of China, adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. As the pioneering province of China's Reform and Opening Up Policy in 1978, Guangdong is now the strongest province in the country. In 2016, Guangdong’s GDP reached 1.1 trillion dollars (US), growing by 7.5%, ranking No.16 in the world as an economic entity. The import and export value exceeded 1 trillion dollars (US), taking up 25% of the national total.


15th June 2017

Guangdong Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference

The Party Secretary of Guangdong province led a delegation of official and business representatives on a visit to the UK this June.

The delegation met UK companies to discuss investment and cooperation opportunities.

There was a welcome by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the UK and speeches by by representatives from East Anglia and Guangdong Province and presentations by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and UK companies investing in Guangdong.

Topics high on the agenda were finance, Hi-tech and foreign talent recruitment.

There were 'Matchmaking Sessions' throughout the day.

Guangdong Province is located in the southeast of China, adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. The pioneering province of China's Reform and Opening Up Policy in 1978, Guangdong's import and export value exceeded 1 trillion dollars (US), taking up 25% of the national total.

There are over 17,0000 foreign enterprises established in Guangdong and Guangdong enterprises have invested in over 100 countries globally, establishing over 6000 enterprises.

Guangdong presents an excellent investment environment, offering huge space for business development, supported by a complete infrastructure with transport accessibility in all directions, wide-coverage communication networks and smooth and efficient customs clearance. The province also offers a large local pool of high quality human resources.

With the implementation of cooperation frame agreements between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, the Great Pearl River Delta will emerge as a world-class city cluster.

There are three special economic zones, six national economic and technological development zones, nine hi-tech industrial development zones, 17 bonded logistics supervision areas/sites, 36 provincial industry relocation industrial parks and a batch of provincial development zones. All these areas provide great opportunities for business developers.

Guangdong Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference
14 June 2017, 9.30am - 2:00pm
Grosvenor House, 89–90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN, United Kingdom

For more information and to secure your place at the conference, contact


17th February 2017

NFU East Anglia

This event was being hosted by Robert Sheasby, Regional Director of The NFU. The topics are Agriculture / Horse Racing. This event is supported by William Kendall DL, The High Sheriff of Suffolk. The key speakers will be from the chosen topics.


2nd December 2016

East of England Co-Op

This event was hosted by Doug Field, joint CEO of East of England Co-Op. The topic was Food/Drink. This event was supported by Lady Clare Euston, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and by Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. The heads of food and drink in this region attended. They were there to discuss and hear from firms who are already successfully exporting. This event included representatives from the Sizewell C project, Anglia Farmers, NFU, Wilkin & Son, Muntons, Hillfarm Oils, Booja-Booja and BT.

read more East of England food and drink sector in drive to export more to china


17th November 2016

House of Lords

This event was hosted by Lord Clement–Jones. The topic was ICT. This event was attended by a wide selection of ICT firm in East Anglia. Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State responsible for Digital Policy. IDC estimate that the Chinese ICT market will grow by 7% annually until 2025, when the market will exceed $6 trillion. The key factors driving this growth are increasing consumption by the burgeoning middle class, policies to upgrade China's industrial infrastructure and an increasing innovative tech ecosystem. The delegates were still concerned over IP issues. Tom Duke is the IP envoy in Beijing.


6th October 2016

Anglia Farmers

This event was hosted by Clarke Willis. The focus was on food and drinks sectors in the East of England and opportunities to promote business in China. The speakers were Conan Busby, head of Cargo and business for MAG, Stansted; Chris Cotton, Director of China–Britain Business Council and Thinley Topden, regional deputy director of the Department for International Trade.

What do the Chinese consumers want? Beer wine and spririts are increasing popular. However there are still however barriers for cider and fruit juices, which have a 40% import duty. Pork and seafood exports are growing, although the markets for beef and lamb are more difficult to access. High–quality biscuits and chocolate are in demand. The Chinese products have seen a huge increase in consumption. Milk powder exports are still high.


28th July 2016

Suffolk Food Hall

This was a local event hosted by Oliver Paul. The topic under discussion was the Food and drink sector. The High Sheriff of Suffolk William Kendall DL endorsed this meeting by attending.

Around 20 of the region’s top food and drink bosses attended including Rick Sheepshanks of Stokes; Ric Ackland Snow of Scarlett and Mustard; David Abbott of Booja-Booja; Barry Chevallier, Guild of Aspall Cyder and Ian Whitehead of Lane Farm. It was stated how well high-quality food and drink products were received in China and how businesses were trading successfully there already by building their profile online in China.


15th June 2016

House of Lords

The launch of the LinksEast Forum, a series of round table discussions at the House of Lord followed by local events in East Anglia. This where specific East Anglian communities met with representatives of Government in particular the China-Britain Business Council. They discuss their requirements on the ‘how to’ question of trading with China. This event was hosted by Lord Sassoon, chairman of the China-Britain Business Council.





LinksEast was founded on the intention of enabling communication and trade between SMEs in East Anglia interested in trading in and with China.

In an increasingly complicated marketplace of international trade, highlighted by post referendum uncertainties, LinksEast offers a distinctive, fully integrated PR service to its clients in East Anglia bringing them greater awareness and clarity regarding present and potential opportunities both at home and in China. This enables local firms to utilise effective links to fast track trade with Chinese markets.

We liaise very closely with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and Visit Britain on achieving this aim.

We focus on key market sectors in East Anglia: Food and Drink, ICT, Transport, Alternative Energy, Pharmaceuticals, Education, Aerospace, Medical, Advance Manufacturing and Tourism.

We host the LinksEast Forum, a series of round table discussions at The House of Lords, where invited guests from specific EA market communities can meet with representatives of Government who have knowledge, insight and expertise to discuss their needs and requirements on the 'how to' questions of trading with China. The Forum forms the foundation for the EA business community of a 'self-help' exchange of knowledge and idea dialogues, with local meetings across the region.

We have qualified Mandarin speakers to help businesses build knowledge and confidence to do business in China, as well as advising on specific opportunities tailored to their needs.

Our understanding of the changing shape of marketing communications in the light of interactive media allows us to give the most suitable responses to projects briefs on the international area to feed through to East Anglia.

Trading with China is all about building a relationship of trust and friendship.



在一个日益复杂的国际市场交易环境中,脱欧全民公投后, 东联澄清并会提供其在东安格利亚地区一个独特的,完全集成的公关服务。这将使得当地企业,以快速轨道,通过有效的联系与中国进行贸易合作。我们与中英贸易协会(CBBC)在实现这一目标有非常密切的联系。






Agriculture, Food and Drink Exports


China’s growing appetite for British food and drink products is underpinned by provenance and premium quality. As Chinese consumers have grown wealthier and ventured further afield to visit new places and explore new cuisines, they have developed new tastes for imported delicacies and remain convinced a premium price is the right price to pay for produce that bears the mark of food safety and years of craftsmanship.

The designation of 'made in Britain' is increasingly one of the biggest assets for British food and drink businesses.

China will become the world's largest market for imported foods by 2018, predicts the country’s National Bureau of Statistics of China. China is already the largest grocery market in the world with an estimated value of £1 trillion, according to grocery industry researchers IGD.

For food companies with the right branding and strategic patience, China offers a genuine chance for future expansion.

The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) offers in-depth advice on labelling, exporter and manufacturer registration, regulatory framework and retail and online scene. Full details can be viewed on the CBBC website.



Business Trip Tips


Travelling to China for business can be an enjoyable experience. In order to make sure your trip goes smoothly, CBBC has prepared a list of things to watch out for. While not exhaustive, it is recommended that you take these points into consideration both before and during your stay in China.

Remember to apply for a visa

Most travel to China necessitates obtaining a visa. There are two main types of visa depending on the nature of your trip. M visas are issued to those who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities; while F visas are issued to those who intend to go to China for exchanges, visits, study tours and other more general activities. The processing time for most Chinese visas is typically four working days (though this can be expedited with a premium charge).

In the case of very short term trips there is also now an option for visa-free transit. This option is available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Xiamen, Tianjin and Hangzhou and can be used by anyone with confirmed onward transit within a 72 hour period.

There are three Chinese visa centres in the UK (London, Manchester and Edinburgh). If you are willing to pay a premium, a visa agency can handle the entire process instead. Agents can be particularly useful in making sure all the documentation is in order, and especially helpful for companies not located near a visa centre.

Change money

China’s currency is the renminbi (RMB, also yuan/CNY). It is a good idea to change some money before you go to China. It is also important to note that outside large hotels and some international shops, vendors will rarely accept international credit/debit cards. However, most of the large banks have ATMs that accept international credit/debit cards (at a fee).

Pack wisely

Weather varies dramatically across China. Some parts of the country can be extremely warm and humid or cold depending on the season. It is important to look up the relevant forecasts to ensure a decent level of comfort throughout the duration of your stay.

Bring power adapters

China operates on a 220V/SOHZ system. Chinese sockets are similar to those found in the US.

Keep in mind that internet access is restricted

You will experience restricted access on certain foreign websites and apps. This includes Google, Gmail, Google Maps, Wikipedia App, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. However, some paid subscriptions to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can allow smooth access.

Arrange travel insurance

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so you should arrange travel insurance before your trip to China. Ideally, make sure your travel insurance covers international hospitals where staff speak English, visits to which can be very expensive if self-funded.

Remember the time difference

The whole of mainland China is under one time zone – China Standard Time, CST (GMT+8) - all year round. CST is 7 hours ahead of British Summer Time (BST). This is important to keep in mind when calling business partners or your prospective hosts in China.

Schedule a jetlag recovery period

Given the time difference, it is a good idea to allow for some time to acclimatise.

Have emergency contact information prepared

This could be choosing personal contact, or your CBBC relationship or project manager if you have one.

Arrange an interpreter

As English is not widely spoken in China, arranging an interpreter may be useful. CBBC can arrange this for you.

Bring plenty of business cards

Exchanging business cards is a frequent activity when conducting business in China. It is recommended to print double-sided English/Chinese cards, and hand them to your Chinese counterparts with both hands.

Research Chinese local customs/practices

You will impress your guest if you familiarise yourself with some of the more nuanced traditions of the cities you will be visiting (e.g. in Guangdong, it is customary to wash bowls and cutlery yourself before eating - this is typical even of very clean restaurants).

Locate the closest embassy/consulate

Keep the embassy’s contact details on hand in case you encounter a situation that requires consular support. The UK has a presence in the following locations:
Beijing (British Embassy): +86 (0)10 5192 4000
Shanghai (Consulate-General): +86 (0)213279 2000
Guangzhou (Consulate -General): +86 (0)20 8314 3000
Chongqing (Consulate-General): +86 (0)23 6369 1400/6369 1500
Wuhan (Consulate-General): +86 (0)27 8577 0989
(Valid until the end of 2015)

Once in China: Practical Issues


Have the address of your hotel and destination written/ printed in Chinese characters. Taxi drivers will usually not be able to understand English writing or Romanised Chinese written with the Latin alphabet (also known as pinyin). Note that it is very difficult to get a taxi on rainy days and during rush hour, and big Chinese cities can get very congested at these times. Never take unlicensed t axis (known as “black taxis” in reference to their being illegal rather than their colour). Always ask to use the meter.

Allow for irregular travel times

Whether travelling within a large city or cross-country, it is a good idea to account for delays and longer than usual travel times. This is especially true in cities such as Beijing or Shanghai where traffic can increase transit times considerably. Generally speaking, the trains in China run on time, but planes are often delayed. The high-speed rail network (with an average speed of 200 km/h) is a fast, comfortable and reliable choice.

Road safety

Crossing the road can be precarious for someone unfamiliar with Chinese traffic laws and how they are applied. Cars do not have to stop at zebra crossings, and they are allowed to turn right through red lights even if there is a green man at the pedestrian crossing. Many roads have cycle and motorcycle lanes, in which traffic rules are rarely fully adhered to. Be careful, and when in doubt, follow a local.


Unlike in the UK, you will receive your cash first, and then the card. Do not leave without both!

Once in China: Business Meetings, Communications & Social Etiquette

Business card etiquette

Always give and receive business cards with both hands and a short bow. When receiving a business card, do not put it immediately in your pocket, as this may be portrayed as flippant. Take a moment to inspect it and then place it gently in your pocket or portfolio.

Speak slowly and clearly

English will not be your counterparts’ first language. Speaking slowly and in a simple (but not patronising) manner will help ensure that you convey your message effectively. Try also to limit using British humour or sarcasm as Chinese people will likely find this strange or rude.

Avoid taboo subjects

It is unwise to bring up politically sensitive subjects such as Taiwan or South China Sea island sovereignty, Tibet or Xinjiang secessionist movements, official bribery, human rights or jokes of an adult nature.

Give your hosts ‘face’ at all times

‘Saving face’ is one of the most important aspects of Chinese culture. Even in advertently causing your host/business partners to lose face - e.g. by showing them up or correcting them in front of their peers - can be disastrous for your relationship with them, even if they do not show embarrassment at the time.

Physical contact

Although shaking hands has become the norm for business greetings in China, it is often deemed unnecessary on social occasions. Avoid physical contact such as hugs and back patting, particularly of the opposite sex.

Be patient

Business negotiations can be drawn out considerably longer than in the West. Concession and agreements may be saved for right at the fast minute.

Business negotiations can be drawn out considerably longer than in the West.

Once in China: Hospitality & Dining

Chinese food is shared

In most situations, food is ordered for the whole table for everyone to share. It would be considered very odd to keep the tastiest dishes to yourself (this rule does not apply when eating Western food).


Be aware that many restaurants do not have Western-style cutlery. Some visitors choose to bring their own.

Do not be alarmed by drinking

Drinking alcohol is common at business dinners in China, as alcohol is thought to show an individual’s ‘true face’. If you do not wish to drink, make this clear to your host before dining (be prepared to hold your ground). The traditional Chinese liquor is Baijiu, though beer also very common.

Guests eat first

Your host may insist that you, as the guest, be the first to try each dish.

Expect your host to offer you excessive amounts of food

It is considered hospitable to invite your guest to eat to excess. But they will understand that everyone has their limits.

Arguing to pay the bill

At the end of the meal, Chinese people will usually fight over paying the bill. This is done to demonstrate their generosity.

If invited to a private dinner, bring a gift

Gift giving is part of Chinese culture, including at business meetings. If invited to somebody’s home for dinner, bring something for the host (some fruit, for example, will suffice). ldeally, any gift should be presented in a gift box or a gift bag. Do not be disappointed if your host does not immediately open it and comment on its attractiveness/practicality. It is common for them to do so in private later to avoid looking greedy.

Avoid gifts that bear negative connotations

Items which may raise eyebrows include: clocks (=death), cards written in red ink (=sever relations) or books (=losing). Very expensive items may also cause your hosts to worry about how others would perceive the nature of your business relationship. This latter is especially important in the light of recent anti-bribery campaigns.

Basic Mandarin

The written language is uniform throughout China but , as in other countries, Chinese dialects vary from region to region. The standard language, Putonghua (often called Mandarin), is similar to the Beijing dialect and is spoken by most people across the country. This is the language of business and if you would like to learn some Chinese, Putonghua is the one to study. There are numerous free-to-access websites designed to help you learn Putonghua, and some simple phrases are below.



Simple phrases






How are you?




Thank you


You’re welcome




No problem (it’s okay)


I would like to go to...




How much is...


Too expensive





Ni hao ma?










Mei guanxi


Wo xiang qu...




Duo shao qian


Tai guile



Nee how


Nee how ma?


Sigh jyen


Share share


Boo ke chee


Dway boo chee


May gwan shee


Wor sheang choo


Jeew Dyen


Dwoshao chee-yen


Tie gway-la


Tsir swor

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