A Message from Chamber Chair

Published on 2019-12-23

Rosie Hawes, Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, shares with you 2019 review and 2020 outlook.

Dear BritCham Shanghai members and friends,

2019 is almost behind us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your engagement with the Chamber over the year, making us a dynamic and influential organisation representing and supporting all members.

This has been an exciting year as the Chamber has developed new initiatives to ensure we present a strong and impactful voice for British business, helping businesses of all sizes succeed in China. We will continue to carry out these initiatives in 2020.


As a unified voice of British business in China, the four British Chambers in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Southwest) have been working together to advocate on behalf of our members to both the British and Chinese governments for the purposes of better trade relations and improving market access.

With the inaugural Position Paper launched in May, the gathered views from member companies were heard by the leadership in both the British and Chinese governments as well as the wider China business environment. The second Position Paper is scheduled to be launched in May 2020. For the second version, we encourage members from more sectors to engage and ensure your voice is heard.

Collaboration between Focus Groups

The Chamber has organised over 110 events this year, hosting more than 4,000 attendees. Increasingly, focus groups have jointly planned events, bringing more diversity to panels and in how they address cross-sector issues. In the new year, we will see more collaboration, intended to provide high quality content, keeping members up to date on an ever-changing business environment.

Hosting Overseas Delegation Visit in Shanghai

At the end of November, we welcomed a business delegation from Glasgow, Scotland. During their day with the Chamber, we arranged visits and roundtables with Chamber member companies, sharing experience on doing business in China. Stuart Patrick, CEO of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said, “I am leading a delegation here from Glasgow and looking to build business contacts in Shanghai. And by far, the best means of doing that has been working with the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai. The network we’ve made here through the Chamber can help Glasgow make the contacts we need and identify business opportunities.”

We look forward to welcoming more visits from the UK to Shanghai within the coming years.

The New Community Outreach Committee

2019 has been a transitioning year for the Chamber's Community Outreach Committee (COC), previous known as the CSR Committee. In June, the COC announced the launch of its reinvention to a holistic and sustainable platform, raising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) awareness in the community as well as supporting member companies’ CSR activities. This transformation leads the Chamber to turn from a simple fund-raising role to become an integrated platform to:

  • Update members on legislation and regulations relevant to CSR in China
  • Recommend reliable charitable organisations and volunteer opportunities
  • Promote members’ CSR activities via Chamber communication channel

More Highlights to Look Forward to in 2020

British Business Awards

Next year we will once again celebrate UK-Sino business success by organising the biennial British Business Awards (BBA). Organised by the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, BBA recognises and promotes excellence in innovation, enterprise and endeavour in the British and Chinese business communities.  

Applications to participate in BBA 2020 will open in April 2020. The awards will be presented at a Gala Dinner on 29 October 2020 in Shanghai.

We encourage all companies and organisations with links to the UK to enter the awards, sharing your great success stories and join us at the Gala Dinner in October 2020.

New Office

After the Chinese New Year, the Chamber will have a new home – the M Tower on Chengdu Bei Lu. The new office is under refurbishment right now and we welcome members to join us for the office opening in February.


With 2020 just around the corner, we do see challenges looming – a Brexit transition year; global economic uncertainty and China’s domestic slowdown. But also opportunities coexist - China’s further opening-up; technological innovations, Chinese outbound investment and China’s sheer market potential, which are keeping British businesses committed to the China market.

As a Chamber and home to all members, we will continue to focus on our key task of helping business of all sizes to succeed in China through advocacy, knowledge sharing, market experience, networking, community, business representation and access.

If you have any questions about the work of the Chamber, or requests for support or suggestions for new initiatives, please feel free to contact James Dunn or me directly.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and look forward to seeing you in 2020!

Best Regards,

Rosie Hawes
Chair, The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai