Northern Ireland welcomes Chinese Regional leaders to Belfast

Date published: 01 December 2017

Over 100 delegates including over 50 Chinese provincial and municipal leaders are arriving in Belfast today for a three day Summit.

The main themes of the Summit are creative screen industries, health services technology, agri-food security and innovation. As a result of discussions with the NI Executive Bureau in Beijing, these areas have been identified by the visiting delegations as areas of mutual interest and potential for partnership working.

Speaking ahead of the 2017 UK-China Regional Leaders Summit in Belfast, Tim Losty, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in China said: “Our bid to host the Summit was in February this year and it was supported by both governments and recognised the Bureau’s work in developing constructive relations with the provinces of Liaoning and Hubei and their cities over the last three years.

“The mission of the Bureau in China is to strengthen the relationship with the Government and People of China and to identify projects that will be of mutual and practical benefit.

“Given the period of time the Bureau has been operational in China, this is a significant achievement and demonstrates support for our strategy for working with regions.

“A successful Summit will create the circumstances and conditions for our relationships with China to evolve and accentuate the mutual benefits for both China and all the people of Northern Ireland.”

Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland said: “Hosting this prestigious event gives us the opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland’s combined excellence across a range of sectors to an influential audience. Our visitors are keen to understand our policies, the research which underpins them and how we are implementing them. We are confident that this week’s event will identify areas of future collaboration for our businesses, our universities and our policy makers and, in many cases, begin to build relationships which will lead to longer term economic benefits.”

The proposal to bring the Summit to Northern Ireland was submitted by the Executive Office’s Bureau in Beijing and was approved by the Executive in November 2016.

Notes to editors: 

  1. This is the third UK-China Regional leaders Summit since it was agreed between David Cameron and President Xi Jinping following his visit to London in 2015. 
  2. The first Summit was held in the UK with the Northern Powerhouse region and second in Shanghai with the Midlands Engine City cluster.
  3. This is the first Summit to involve the Provincial leaders in China and a Devolved Administration.
  4. The selection of the region is based on the submission of a bid to the FCO and requires agreement from the Chinese Government’s Friendship Association.
  5. Media enquiries to TEO Press Office on 028 9037 8256. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  6. For photos in relation to the Summit, please visit: and use the following Event key: NIChinaSummit2017. You should use the arrow below the image to download at no fee.

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