The Manchester China Forum
Who are we?
Established in 2013 by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, Manchester China Forum is a special purpose vehicle for driving forward the Manchester-China relationship. The Forum has received acclaim as a highly innovative and successful initiative that works to ensure Manchester is equipped and ready for China’s rapid growth and the opportunity that this presents. We are a unique public-private partnership with strong links and influence putting us in a unique position to drive forward the Manchester-China agenda and ensure growth in commercial connectivity between the city and China.
The Forum Board has been chaired by Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group and most recently David Percival, Managing Director of Deloitte in Shanghai. Rhys Whalley serves as the organisation’s Executive Director. Other board members include:
• David Percival, Managing Director (China), Deloitte – Chairman
• Rhys Whalley, Executive Director
• Tim Newns, Chief Executive Officer, MIDAS
• Mark Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Growth Company
• Sheona Southern, Managing Director, Marketing Manchester
• Lord Nat Wei, House of Lords
• John Cooper, Partner, Deloitte
• Andrew Cowan, CEO, Manchester Airport
• Mike Blackburn, Chairman of the LEP
• Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer, Manchester City Football
• Yu Dongwen, Lead Director, Beijing Construction and Engineering International (UK)
• Xing Yan, Managing Director, Beijing Construction and Engineering
• Adam Jupp, Head of External Affairs, Manchester Airport
• Nancy Rothwell, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Manchester
• Thomas Renn, Managing Director, Manchester Science Partnerships, Bruntwood SciTech
Our Aims and Objectives
When the Forum was first established, initial aims were broad and geared towards the general growth of the Manchester China agenda including securing a direct flight, increasing student numbers, and raising the general profile of Manchester in China. Almost 5 years on these initial aims have now been realised, and having developed a strong platform for engagement we have now set the strategy for Phase 2. Phase 2 continues to focus on the establishment of further direct connectivity with China as well as focus on key sectors, these include Infrastructure and Regeneration, Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Education, Visitor Economy, Football, Innovation and Healthcare. Despite this more focused approach all of our work continues to evolve around the primary goal of “building strong, long-term, coordinated links with China” alongside building cultural foundations in the city, ensuring that Manchester is in the best place possible to take advantage of the opportunities that China offers.
Manchester China Forums unique approach has strengthened the region’s relationship with China and has resulted in an increase in commercial activity, the launch of direct routes to Beijing and Hong Kong, and President Xi’s visit to the city. Since the inception of the Manchester-China Forum inward investment into Manchester from China has grown enormously, totalling over £3bn. Notable projects include an £800m investment from Beijing Construction and Engineering Group and the £1bn Far East Consortium investment into the Northern Gateway Project. Alongside the growth in direct investment, Manchester has seen a rapid rise in both Chinese tourist and student numbers since the Forum began. As the Manchester-China relationship strengthens we are continuing to welcome a vast number of high level political visits, reaffirming senior level appetite in China to engage with Manchester. In February 2018 the successes of the Forum were recognised at the Hurun business awards where the organisation was awarded for its commitment and success in enhancing UK-China relations.
Get in Touch
Telephone: +44 (0) 161 237 4470
Twitter: GM_China Forum
Get in Touch
Find out how Manchester can help you innovate. Talk to our sector specialist:
Manchester China Forum
T: +44 (0)161 237 4470
Manchester Airport secures landmark link to Shanghai