Bedford businesses hope for investment from Chinese Embassy - including the Airlander

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The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, hosted a delegation this month from the Chinese Embassy who met with Bedford based companies to discuss investment opportunities and encourage expansion into the Chinese market.

The delegation, headed by Mr. Xu Jin, Minister Counsellor of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, met with Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, Councillor Colleen Atkins, and the Council’s Economic Development team.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “We used this opportunity to promote Bedford Borough’s rich history and culture and vibrant economy to the Chinese representatives.

“We took the chance to get major local employers across a range of industries in front of the delegation to enable them to share ideas and information directly. There was very much a two-way focus to the visit, promoting opportunities both for inward investment from China and for local businesses to export.”

Mr. Jin and his team of representatives visited the Mayor’s Parlour to learn about the history and culture of Bedford Borough before receiving a presentation on the local economy, sector company strengths and infrastructure investment including Bedford’s role at the centre of the Oxford to Cambridge Innovation Corridor.

Afterwards, Bedford based companies hoping to enter and expand into the Chinese Market presented to the delegation with the aim of encouraging investment, and also to seek advice and guidance regarding opportunities on expanding their businesses overseas.

Local businesses Map Sciences, Charles Wells and Hybrid Air Vehicles all presented to Mr Jin and his team who were able to offer opinions and ideas on how they could best grasp opportunities within the vast Chinese market place.

Following discussions the delegation visited Hybrid Air Vehicles in Shed Number 1 of the Cardington Hangars to have a tour of the impressive site and see the largest flying aircraft – the Airlander 10 outside before taking a tour of Charles Wells Brewery and seeing their manufacturing process in action.

The Bedford visit was finished with a tour along the River Great Ouse on the John Bunyan Boat.