Burns Night Held to Strengthen ‘Scottish Connections' in Shanghai

Published on 2020-01-14

The BritCham Shanghai's 2020 event calendar kicked off with a great start on 13 January as the Scottish Focus Group held the Burns Night Scottish Connector with over 60 members and guests present.

The event was structured to combine the best of a Scottish Connections business networking event with key elements of a traditional Burns Night.

Scottish cuisine was on offer, excellently catered for by the Bull & Claw, including of course Haggis, Neeps and Tatties as the main course. This was washed down with excellent refreshments, notably The Macallan 12-year-old malt whisky provided by Edrington as well as BrewDog craft beer.


In his opening comments, Blair KellyScottish Focus Group (SFG) Chair, noted that the Scottish Connections network is proving to be useful for all those companies and other organisations associated with Scotland and doing business in China. As well as a series of well attended specific events it is creating a focal point and voice for Scottish businesses. He particularly noted the developing partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) and thanked them for their great support of the event. 

Alan Hepburn, BritCham Shanghai Vice Chair and host for the event, reflected on the Chamber’s activities in 2019 and plans for 2020. He said this event epitomises what we are trying to as a Chamber – membership driven, creating connections and community, some business content but also enjoying each other’s company socially – and having some fun.

Chris Wood, British Consul-General in Shanghai, gave a keynote address, reflecting on 2019 and looking forward to 2020 in what will be a very important year for UK-China relations, and what that means for Scotland. He especially noted the importance of climate change and the energy transition this year.  The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26 will be held in Glasgow in November 2020 under the presidency of the UK government. Over 200 world leaders and 30,000 delegates are expected to attend. 

Kevin Liu, Head of China and Head of Energy Asia Pacific at SDI, shared an outlook for Scottish businesses in China in 2020 and the key sectors that will drive growth. He also outlined how SDI aspires to play a prominent role in promoting Brand Scotland, including through the Scotland is Now campaign and by helping to inform the way Scottish businesses think about and act upon the China opportunity.


(From left to right: Kevin Liu, Blair Kelly, Alan Hepburn, Chris Wood)

After an interactive Q and A session, the Haggis was then piped in and a highlight of the evening was the traditional recital of the Robert Burns poem “Address to a Haggis“ performed by Craig MacKenzie, MD of Continuum Ltd.


Special thanks to: Alan Hepburn for hosting the event; Scotland is Now, SDI and Edrington for their support and sponsorship.

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