Leicester Tigers played host to East Midlands businesses for an international ‘Gateway to China’ event as part of the Leicester Business Festival 2017 this week.
The club’s chief executive Simon Cohen was among the key speakers to talk about the opportunities that China holds for businesses.
The day opened with a traditional Chinese Lion dance before Helen Donnellan, the inward investment director at Leicester City Council, introduced Deputy City Mayor Councillor Piara Singh Clair and the Chinese Minister Councillor for Economy and Trade, Mr Jin Xu.
A series of workshops, breakout sessions and networking opportunities allowed guests to learn more about trade and investment with China throughout the day.
Mr Jin Xu talked of the industries currently benefitting from Chinese investment, as well as the role sport has played in Leicester becoming an attractive proposition across the globe.
Simon Cohen said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Mr Jin Xu and his team as well as business leaders of Leicester and Leicestershire to the ‘Gateway to China’ event. Welford Road is one of the region’s most recognised and largest venues so it’s a privilege to host such a distinguished event.
“We hope that businesses will come away with a greater understanding of the opportunities that working with China offers, something that here at Tigers we’re continuing to build on as part of our global partnership plan.”
Helen Donnellan added: “China is the world’s largest importer and exporter, and many businesses may think it is too late or difficult to enter the Chinese market. The aim of today is to show that it can be possible and there is a lot of support out there for businesses.
“We are also aiming to create a strategy which will build links between China and Leicester, and we’re working closely with Leicester Tigers and the universities to look at how we can continue this.
“Part of today’s objective is to understand what support businesses need so that our strategy can address these.”
The Tigers’ global partnership plan sees the club building links around the world to drive grassroots rugby, talent identification and support commercial opportunities.
The Leicester Business Festival 2017 runs until November 3. More information can be found at www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com