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Chief Minister welcomes Chinese Ambassador to Island 12 April 2013

Chief Minister and Chinese AmbassadorTHE Isle of Man is continuing to strengthen its political and economic relations with China as part of a broader strategy to raise the Island’s international profile and generate new business opportunities.

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK this week welcomed His Excellency Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, on a three-day visit to the Island. Ambassador Xiaoming was accompanied by his wife Madam Hu Pinghua, Counsellor Miao Deyu, Deputy Head of Embassy’s Political Section, and Mr Wang Tong, assistant to the Ambassador.

The delegation gained an overview of the Isle of Man’s economy, culture and constitutional position during meetings with the Chief Minister, Treasury Minister Eddie Teare MHK, Economic Development Minister John Shimmin MHK and senior officers. The visit continued the Isle of Man Government’s policy of positive engagement with other nations in order to promote a deeper understanding of the Island and its role within the global community. It also supported efforts to raise awareness of the Island in the Far East and highlight our strengths and business propositions to the powerful Chinese economy.

An Isle of Man trade mission will next week visit Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to meet decision makers from a wide range of Chinese banks, corporations, law firms and Government organisations. The delegation, which includes Minister Shimmin and leading members of the Manx business community, will outline opportunities for the Island to support the Chinese economy, specifically through import/export solutions, capital market listings, and wealth management services.

The Chief Minister said: ‘I was pleased to welcome the Ambassador to the Isle of Man and I look forward to further enhancing our relationship with China in the future. During our discussions we explored a number of opportunities to develop mutually beneficial trade and investment links between our two nations. As a highly regarded international business centre, the Isle of Man is well placed to support China’s “Going Global” policy. We already have good economic ties through our shipping and manufacturing sectors, but there are many other areas where the Isle of Man can work with China, such as providing a gateway into the European Union for Chinese exporters. Events such as the Ambassador’s visit and the Isle of Man trade mission to China are important elements of our strategy to grow and diversify the Manx economy. I believe there is potential to attract significant new business and employment opportunities to the Island by forging a strong alliance with China.’

During his time in the Island, Ambassador Xiaoming visited Ballakermeen High School to discover more about its close links with China. His Excellency was greeted by Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, and met a group of 16 students aged 15 to 18 who have taken part in exchange visits to Ballakermeen’s partner school in Liuyang.

The Ambassador was also given a guided tour of legislative buildings by Clare Christian MLC, President of Tynwald, and later visited Island manufacturing and telecommunications businesses. As well as attending a number of official engagements, the Chinese delegation took the opportunity to experience the Isle of Man’s unique culture and heritage by taking in a number of Manx National Heritage sites.

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