The Chinese New Year was again welcomed early at the long-standing 48 Group Chinese New Year dinner at The Dorchester on Monday 12 February. For the second year the dinner was jointly hosted with CCCUK – the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the UK – with 500 VIPs from business, politics, and culture in attendance.
The Year of the Dog was rung in at the Dorchester by Sun Yu, Chairman of CCCUK as he opened formal proceedings.
Mr Sun introduced Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, who delivered a superb speech, in particular focusing on progress in in the bilateral relationship following the recent visit to China by Prime Minister Theresa May – or “Auntie May” as we learned she is affectionately referred to by the Chinese people. Liu Xiaoming, said that both China and the UK now stand at the entrance to a new historic stage, terming this important new phase in the relationship as “Golden Era 2.0”
The stage then belonged to a very special guest. Liu Mingkang, former Chairman of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, also known as “the professor”. The dinner guests were treated to a masterclass as Liu delivered a presentation of such quality on China rarely witnessed in any forum.
Organisations judged to have made outstanding contributions to China-UK relations are recognised at the dinner each year in the annual KPMG-sponsored 48 Group/CCCUK UK-China Business Awards. AstraZeneca Plc and State Development & Investment Corp. Ltd. (SDIC) were this year’s winners, and presented with their awards by H.E. Liu Xiaoming.
AstraZeneca plc has witnessed significant growth in its Chinese market. In November, they formed a $133M China joint venture-Dizal Pharmaceutical, with the Chinese Future Industry Investment Fund (FIIF). During the recent trip by UK PM Theresa May, AstraZeneca signed agreements with Alibaba’s Ali Health, and Tencent, with the aim of harnessing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve diagnosis and care for patients, and also tackle the issue of online counterfeit drug sales. Receiving the award on behalf of AstraZeneca were Marc Dunoyer, CFO and Leon Wang EVP International.
China State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC) Fund Management Company, one of the largest PE funds in China, manages over $9.1 billion of capital. A strong champion of BRI and “Made in China 2025”, SDIC has invested 33.3bn RMB in 78 countries to date, including considerable investment in the UK offshore wind sector by their SDIC Power Holdings division. Fan Yi, SDIC Secretary to the Board, collected the award
Douglas Flint, Chairman of HSBC from 2010-2017, and recently appointed by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer as the City’s Belt and Road Envoy, was awarded The 48 Group Club CCCUK Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by Liu Mingkang.
Grateful thanks, as always, go to our Lead Sponsors Huawei, Bank of China, HSBC and KPMG, as well as Global, China Eastern, and Shangri La – The Shard. Without whom this wonderful event would not be possible.