ECBF Annual Property Event 2023
This year at our annual joint property event with Browne Jacobson hosted at their Birmingham office, we take a look into the hot, not-so new topic around town: Electric Vehicle (EV). The event focused on Charging Infrastructure required for EVs and was a massive success with a great turnout of attendees and quality discussion between the speakers and also a lively audience engagement. A light lunch was served to welcome the guests and speakers and even from the reception you could feel an excited buzz for the day’s topic.
The event was introduced by Zo Hoida, who is a Partner at Browne Jacobson and Chair of the Birmingham China Business Forum. It was followed with a presentation by Joyce Tia (of Browne Jacobson and also a member of the ECBF) on data and market reports on EV Charging, materials courtesy of Arcadis authors of many significant EV Charging Strategies across the UK. The presentation showcases the challenges faced by the UK in achieving the UK Government’s target for zero emission vehicles by 2035 and compares the advances made thus far by other countries leading in this field, in particular China.
We then dived into the main entrée for the event, a panel session led by Zo Hoida between our panel of experts; Tanya Sargent of Evenlode Roadside, Andy Cox of West Midlands Combined Authority and Nick Lane of Avonside Safety Management.
The panel discussed the various issues and complexities involved in developing sufficient EV Charging Infrastructure, from scarcity of/competition for roadside land, challenges of feasibility in terms of ground conditions, suitability of mix of uses and viability with challenges around valuation/funding, skills gaps for construction and ongoing maintenance, and pressures on public authority resources. Audience attention was raptly fixed on the experts and they too got an opportunity to partake when the panel opened the floor for a Q&A session.
The event concluded with a speech by James Ng, President of ECBF, and the attendees were invited to continue networking and speak with the panellists.
ECBF 10th Anniversary
15th May, Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords
Hosted by Lord Tim Clement-Jones
Photos provided by Roger Way
120 guests joined ECBF to celebrate its 10th Anniversary over Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords.
England China Business Forum 10th Anniversary Brochure
Bill Good and Angela Huang chaired the event. Speakers included Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Mei Sim Lai and Dr Yeow Poon. All the speakers highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between the UK and China.
ECBF 10th Anniversary was also a special occasion as Dr Yeow Poon, after 10 years as President of ECBF, became Emeritus President and passed the baton on to James Ng. Going forward, the message below highlights ECBF vision of fostering dialogue and business collaboration by bridging the gap between the UK and China.
Bridging the Gap
England China Business Forum was founded in 2013, during a time of mutual goodwill to encourage businesses in the UK and China to trade with each other by sharing insights and experiences. However, since 2016, the relations between China and the West have deteriorated.
There is now a large and growing gap as each side adopts more entrenched positions on economic, security and governance issues. While the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for countries to be more economically resilient, it is essential to avoid isolating into separate blocs driven by geopolitical rivalry.
East and West have evolved with very different history, philosophy, religion, culture and traditions. Nevertheless, we have a shared humanity. For example, although chopsticks are used in the East and knives and forks in the West, the underlying values are the same. Families bond when we eat together. Friendships grow when we share meals with others. Also, throughout history, trade between East and West has been instrumental in exchanging ideas, promoting learning and enhancing prosperity.
As the world becomes more multi-polar, it is crucial to recognise that we remain inter-connected with each other. We have to work together to tackle global challenges whilst being clear about our values yet respecting each other's perspectives and approaches.
James Cleverly, UK Foreign Secretary, recently said:
"No significant global problem - from climate change to pandemic prevention, from economic stability to nuclear proliferation - can be solved without China … To give up on China would be to give up on addressing humanity's biggest problems."
Hence, going forward, England China Business Forum has a role to play in bridging the gaps between the UK and China. We will continue to provide a platform for business collaboration and dialogue that enables a better understanding of the economic, cultural and societal differences between East and West.
ECBF Annual Dinner 2023
About 40 friends and supporters came together for an informal evening to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at the Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham.
Zo Hoida, the Co-Chair gave a review of ECBF activities in 2022 and our plans for 2023. Current plans include seminars/webinars on tourism covering Henley Passport Index and tourism to and from China. ECBF will also continue to run an entrepreneurial event and a property event towards the end of 2023. The main highlight for 2023 is Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords on 15th May to celebrate ECBF 10th Anniversary .
Dr Yeow Poon, President of ECBF, gave a keynote speech on two issues that impact on UK businesses trading with China. The first issue is that although we need to have some degree of economic resilience for security reasons, how realistic it is for the UK to decouple from China in the short and medium term. The second issue is how likely will there be a war over Taiwan, which will seriously disrupt supply chains and disastrous for the global economy. The speech is archived here https://medium.com/@yeowpoon/china-whats-next-16117c2ef976