ECCI hosts key China trade event

11 October 2017

Scotland and China have moved closer thanks to the ECCI-supported Sustainable Silk Roads Conference presented at the University of Edinburgh’s historic McEwan Hall, attracting almost 200 delegates and 40 expert speakers from Asia, the UK and Europe.

Image from University of Edinburgh CAM

Organised by ECCI, the Confucius Institute for Scotland and China Britain Business Council with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), and the World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities, the conference has been acknowledged by delegates to be a landmark in making links between China and Scotland and the evolving partnerships supporting China's ambitious plans to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia, known as the ‘Belt and Road’ policy.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivered an impressive keynote address and set the geo-political context of BRI for delegates, before sessions on energy, water, green buildings and infrastructure, finance, and data/mobility gave us an understanding of the scale of the programme, the international partnerships supporting it and ways in which Scottish organisations could play an active role.

Professor Natascha Gentz, Assistant Principal (China) and Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland said:

“There’s no doubt get that academic, business and governmental understanding between China and Scotland around BRI have improved markedly as a consequence of the SSR conference.

“This is the first of a series of events and conferences we are planning to ensure that Belt and Road is firmly on the agenda for Scottish organisations who wish to play a part and benefit from its reach.”

Ed Craig, ECCI’s Deputy Director and Head of Innovation, said:

“China’s plan to re-establish the ancient silk trade routes is set to be the world’s biggest economic development initiative so it's really exciting that Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and ECCI are at the forefront of trying to make sure it’s the most sustainable too.

“If successful, it will stretch across 65 countries that account for around 60% of the world’s population. The opportunities to embed low carbon technology and innovation are immeasurable.”

View photographs of the conference on the University of Edinburgh website.