LONDON: Investment opportunities arising from the emergence of China became the focus of the welcoming dinner for more than 3,000 Chinese businessmen from all over the world on the first day of the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) here on Monday (Oct 21) night.
Focus on Chinese opportunities and China-UK relations became the central theme of almost all the six speeches made before the start of the dinner.
This was the first day of the three-day WCEC biennial event, hosted by the UK Chinese Business Association.
The dinner function was so China-centric that the night kicked off with an unscheduled progress report on the preparations for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 and related matters.
The Winter Olympics, in which Genting Bhd's Datuk Lim Chee Wah is deeply involved, will be held in February 2022.
This long progress report was followed by the welcoming remarks made by Sir Ken Olisa, the Queen's representative for Greater London, who set the tone for the night by emphasising the importance of UK-China relations amid Brexit and global uncertainty.
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, chairman of the China British Business Council, said in his address that while China's President Xi Jinping had a "China Dream", the United Kingdom also had a "British Dream".
"Our dream is to accompany you (China) in your dream to create and share prosperity with the world in your One Belt and One Road Initiative... we will accompany you in our next stage of great dream," he said.
Taking a broader angle on global economic cooperation among Chinese were two speakers from China.
Xu Yousheng, director of The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, advised all to grab business opportunities as China entered into its new round of reforms and opening up.
Li Zhuobin, vice chairman of All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, said China had attached great importance to the WCEC since the latter's inception in 1991 aimed to bring all Chinese businessmen together to explore business opportunities, for networking and exchange of ideas.
"Under the new world order amid global uncertainties arising from the trade wars, new opportunities arise. Our federation will continue to play the key role to strengthen relations between China and Chinese all over the world," he said.
After the dinner, Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap – president of Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) – told Malaysian journalists the speeches made "shows the importance attached to China by UK due to the emergence of China as an economic power".
China is now the world's second largest economy and the largest trading nation.
Tan Sri Ter has led 101 delegates from ACCCIM, which is bidding to host the 16th WCEC in 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, to attend the 15th WCEC in London.
The outcome of this international bid will be announced on Wednesday (Oct 23) night.
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