Scottish Connections Business Network Meets to Celebrate Burns Night

Published on 2019-01-27

The British Chamber Shanghai's Scottish Focus Group held a Burns Night Scottish Connector on Wednesday 23rd January. This was the first opportunity for the newly formed Scottish Connections business network to meet.

The event was structured to be a blend of all the elements of a traditional Burns Supper with the activities of a business networking meeting. The event was deliberately capped at 35 attendees to allow good conversations and circulation and was fully booked in advance.

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Scottish food was on offer including of course Haggis as the main course. This was washed down with excellent Tennent's Lager and The Famous Grouse whisky, two iconic Scottish brands, very kindly provided by sponsors Vandergeeten and Erdington

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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.

Blair Kelly, Scottish Focus Group (SFG) Chair, spoke about Scottish Connections and emphasised that membership is very inclusive. As well as members who are Scottish companies and organisations already operating in China, other members included those who were considering entering the market. In addition, many supporting companies and organisations such as government, professional services, airlines, hotel groups and logistics, all of whom had strong vested interests in seeing Scottish business with China grow, were members. Blair said the challenge was now, having formed the network and achieved a critical mass, how do we lever the relationships and connections to create more value for members and for Scotland overall.

One of the priority objectives of the SFG and a big theme for the evening was further development of the business partnership with government, particularly Scottish Development International (SDI) who have been actively supporting the establishment of the SFG and Scottish Connections. Julian Taylor, Managing Director Asia Pacific for SDI, led a presentation and discussion session which included members of the global SDI leadership team who gave great examples of Scottish success stories as well as challenges facing Scottish companies and encouraging inward investment into Scotland. Discussion ranged from IP utilisation and it’s protection, through to helping Scottish hoteliers respond to the needs of Chinese visitors and how to best lever the value of the marketing programme Scotland is Now in China.  

Dr Lu Jianzhong, SFG member and President Weir Group China, one of Scotland’s largest companies, also gave a presentation with some observations on the current business environment for foreign investment in China and where are the biggest opportunities for Scottish companies.  

The whole event was very kindly hosted by Alan Hepburn, who is the Chamber's Executive Committee Sponsor for the SFG. Alan spoke about his experience in doing business in China over many years. He stressed the value of networks and connections on how business gets done in China and the need and willingness of all to help each other. People just needed to ask.

Special Thanks to

Event Support

Whisky Sponsor

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Beer Sponsor

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