Thursday, April 26, 2012
Business Bermuda, the promotional agency for the territory's financial services industry, has concluded a week-long business development and relationship-building trip in Shanghai and Beijing mirroring the decisions of other small, low-tax, financial centres targeting the region as a new source of financial services growth.
The Bermuda delegation was led by Cheryl Packwood, Business Bermuda CEO. Also in attendance was Wayne Furbert, Bermuda's Minister for Business Development and Tourism, Christopher Buchan, Director of Business Development for the Ministry of Business Development & Tourism, and the Managing Directors of two Bermuda companies, Emerging Asset Management and Apex Fund Services.
The delegation conducted a series of meetings with Chinese government officials and business leaders during the visit, between April 14-20 including with: the Chamber of International Commerce, Shanghai; Standard Chartered Bank; the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board; the Shanghai Stock Exchange; and the Chinese Ministry of Finance and Commerce.
In addition, the delegation hosted a reception in Shanghai, which was attended by more than 60 Chinese business executives and government officials.
Packwood and Furbert also participated in the Chinese Enterprises Outbound Investment Conference (CEOIC) in Beijing, which is an annual conference organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The CCPIT invited Bermuda to be a part of the conference through contacts made during Business Bermuda’s marketing tour in Hong Kong last year. This year, the conference was attended by more than 1,200 delegates representing Chinese business interests, investors, and government entities with a focus on identifying international investment opportunities for China around the globe.
Business Bermuda was given an exclusive opportunity to participate in a panel discussion entitled, Invest in the Caribbean and Latin America, and presented several significant development projects in Bermuda in the Overseas Investment Project and Business Matching Seminar during the conference. Business Bermuda reported that speeches presented by Packwood and Furbert drew significant attention from members of the Chinese media and potential investors alike, further evidencing interest in Bermuda as a favoured domicile for Chinese business.
Business Bermuda also signed a memorandum of understanding with the CCPIT, signed by Packwood and Jia Huai, Deputy Director of the Economic Information Department of the CCPIT at the CEOIC Conference with the aim of expanding Bermuda’s trade relationship with China through exchanging information, participation in hosting and attending events, and facilitating official delegation visits to each country.
In both Shanghai and Beijing, Business Bermuda held press briefings for Chinese journalists to provide information about Bermuda and its international business community. This has resulted in media coverage in Chinese language media outlets and, so far, 23 syndicated news outlets with a readership of approximately 50 million people.
Commenting on the China meeting schedule and events in Shanghai and Beijing, Packwood said: “This has been an incredible opportunity to develop relationships and build our understanding of China and the Chinese understanding of Bermuda. The Chinese market is very impressive and the business development opportunities are immense, but it will take time to generate meaningful, mutually-beneficial business relationships.”
“We are very pleased to have been able to further develop our ties with CCPIT. Over a year ago, we met with CCPIT in Hong Kong and through our continued dialogue over the past year, we were able to develop an understanding and secure an exclusive opportunity to participate in the CEOIC in Beijing. We are hopeful that we extend that same courtesy and have invited representatives of CCPIT to join us in Bermuda and to further our business ties.”