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Award Ceremony Praises North West Organisations for Strong China Links

Businesses and organisations across the North West ranging from developers of infant formula to pioneers of aviation training software have been honoured for their commitment to supporting business links with Greater China.

The 12th annual Greater China Awards, organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT), took place at The Lowry in Salford, and allowed guests the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the year of the Rooster. Before the award ceremony, the China Bites seminar took place, at which delegates heard about the best practice on selling, buying and partnering in Greater China from an experienced business panel.

At the ceremony itself, Cathay Pacific took home the prestigious Recognition Award, which is given in recognition of an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution to developing links for UK businesses with Greater China. The airline was honoured for its work in assisting companies looking for business opportunities in Greater China.

The Education Links award was presented to Intern China Ltd, the leading provider of internships, language courses and accommodation for students and recent graduates in China. The Manchester company experienced outstanding growth in 2016 and the judges praised the clear vision and ambitious objectives which have led to the opening of its fifth office in China.

In 2016 The University of Salford developed partnerships with both public and private organisations focusing on niche disciplines and subject areas, such as the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts and the China Training Centre for Civil Servants and in recognition of this was named runner up in the Education Links category.  

The Royal Northern College of Music came third in the same category in honour of its commitment to developing the teaching of music within China, whilst also recruiting high quality students to study in the UK.

Kendal Nutricare, which exports its nutrition based products for the whole of the life cycle from its Cumbria base, was named the Rising Star winner in recognition of its achievement of CNCA infant formula accreditation, enabling it to manufacture infant formulas to sell in China. This led to the company signing a £6m contract to supply formula to Oriental International in early 2016.

Manchester law firm Taylor Rose TTKW was named runner up in recognition of its growth in Greater China. Since the launch of its Asia Pacific team in 2015 the company has experienced increased profitability, employment creation and client satisfaction.

Third place in the Rising Star category was presented to property development and construction company Foster Marlon Group. The Liverpool company’s conversion of history auction house Hong Kong Sotheby’s International has been a success with investors, who have been keen to invest a piece of English heritage.

The evening’s final prize was the Greater China Business award, presented to the company that has made the most significant contribution to developing business or network links with Greater China, including bi-lateral trade or investment. Third place went to Knutsford based Amec Foster Wheeler, which was lauded for its significant footprint in China in the oil and gas, mining and power generation sectors.

Oldham based Innovative Technology, which specialises in cash handling equipment, became one of the first UK companies to wholly own a Chinese factory in 2009  and was awarded runner up for its recent successes in the region. This includes growing sales figures and plant expansion, with its workforce in the area having increased considerably as result of continued growth.

The overall winner of the Greater China Business Award was Manchester based EDM Ltd, a leading global manufacturer of training simulators for the commercial aviation and defence markets. The company entered the Greater China market nine years ago, and is now the world’s leading supplier of cabin crew training equipment to the region, with sales over this period totalling close to £23m.

Clive Drinkwater, North West regional director for the Department for International Trade and the evening’s host, commented: “The quality of applications for the Greater China Awards is better than ever, and I am once again incredibly proud of our region’s achievements in this exciting and thriving market. I’d like to congratulate all of our winners and wish all business across North West good luck in securing further deals and contracts in Greater China in the year ahead.”

Philomena Chen, North West head of Asia Pacific business for Department for International Trade added: “All of our winners and nominees have demonstrated innovation, drive and long term commitment to this market over the past year and everyone at DIT is committed to ensuring the year of the Rooster is the most successful twelve months yet for North West businesses in Greater China.”

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