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February 2020


The Queen’s Awards have just been announced and the East of England industries have been awarded more than ever before in 2019.

Suffolk Queen’s Awards for Enterprise call for entries, February 2020

The first Suffolk Queen’s awards lunch meeting for 2020 was held in conjunction with the Ipswich Suffolk Business club, the topic Infrastructure. The speaker was Tom Hunt MP.

This was the first of a series of calls for entries for the Suffolk 2020 Queen’s Awards. The next one is planned for the House of Lords on Clean Energy, which is a sector that East of England  is outstanding for. The next local event will be on Tourism the venue is to be confirmed after the lockdown has been lifted.



Dr Saul Humphrey, Chair of Building Growth for New Anglia LEP said ”The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are a demonstrable sign of outstanding achievement in Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and in promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility – all of which are excellent indicators of successful businesses in our region. The Clean Growth ambitions of Norfolk and Suffolk require critical infrastructure to realise our ambitions and The Queen’s Awards are a wonderful accolade to align with that intent.”


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





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

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 overseas. This enables local firms to utilise effective links to fast track trade with international markets.

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 international trade. 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 multilingual speakers to help businesses build knowledge and confidence to do business overseas, 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 internationally 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


The growing appetite internationally for British food and drink products is underpinned by provenance and premium quality.

As 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.

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



Business Trip Tips


Travelling internationally for business can be an enjoyable experience. Using China as an example, 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 there.

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

Using China as an example, please find below some useful 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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