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From Sheffield to China: Chengdu trade visit hailed a huge success

Sheffield delegation get a warm welcome at Chengdu Blades (Photo: Creativesheffield)

Sheffield businesses who took part in a recent trade mission to China have hailed the trip an “out and out success”

The trade visit was organised by Creativesheffield and South Yorkshire International Trade Centre and led by Cllr Paul Scriven, leader of Sheffield City Council. Paul’s participation in the visit to Chengdu came following an offer from the Chengdu Blades, the Sheffield United associated football club based in Chengdu, who strongly supported the trade mission.

The aim of the visit was to facilitate local businesses, with access to Chengdu’s business community through the links that Sheffield has built with Chengdu – Sheffield’s new partner city.

David Cross, Director of Coda Studios who took part in the trip, said: ”The Creativesheffield Trade Mission to Chengdu was an out and out success. What more can local businesses want when the Leader of the City attends to add weight and kudos to your trip? It is impossible to underestimate the importance of Cllr Scrivens attendance. He managed to open doors for us to businesses and organisations that would have taken many months to do alone. The fact that this trip was part funded and organised by Creativesheffield shows how dynamic and farsighted this city has become with regards to business and ambition.”

Another member of the delegation, Sheffield United’s group executive director Mike Farnan added: “This was probably the most important trip that representatives from Sheffield and Yorkshire have made since United’s chairman Kevin McCabe acquired the Chengdu Blades. It showcased the work that Kevin and the team have been doing in forging business opportunities for both regions.”

Joanna Lavan, International Manager at Creativesheffield who organised the mission, commented: “I am delighted that the businesses who took part in the trade mission have found it such a huge success. During the visit, Creativesheffield signed an MoU with EUPIC which will help support Sheffield businesses seeking to develop opportunities and cooperation in Chengdu. The attendance of Cllr Paul Scriven really helped to raise the profile of the delegation and the relationship between the sister cities.”

Councillor Paul Scriven, leader of Sheffield City Council, concluded: “The mission has also really helped us to raise the profile of Sheffield in China. I was invited to give the opening speech at the Biopharmaceutical Forum at the EU-China Business and Technology Fair where I was able talk about Sheffield’s achievements and the city signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chengdu Municipal Foreign Affairs and the British Consulate General Chongqing on Chengdu’s Sustainable Development into a World Modern Garden City. These will hopefully lead to further jobs and business for Sheffield.”