Building international bridges in Nottingham

On 22 October, Nottingham Professional Services (NPS) held an event at the University of Nottingham to highlight the work Nottingham is doing to build international relationships with China, India and Germany.

Guest speakers included Nottingham Means Business (NMB) Interest Group Chairs for China (Jason Feehily), India (Thalej Vasishta) and Germany (Jens Mullak) and David Bishop from Nottingham City Council.

NMB is working closely with Nottingham City Council to further develop international links with these three countries to drive inward investment activity and develop trade opportunities for indigenous businesses based in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The city’s international strategy leverages existing relationships through the University of Nottingham’s Ningbo campus in China, the twinning with the German city of Karlsruhe and our energetic and vibrant Indian business community.

NMB and NPS - International TeamL-R: Jason Feehily, Simon Gray, Jens Mullak, Andrew Springhall and Thalej Vasishta.

Proceedings started with an introduction from Andrew Springhall, Chairman of NPS who gave an overview as to some of the exciting work that is being undertaken to put Nottingham firmly on the international map.

It was then over to each of the international market specialists who gave an overview on current activity and next steps.

Jens Mullak – Germany:

Trade missions have taken place to Karlsruhe, Dusseldorf, Magdeburg and Osnabruck.

This week the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe was in the city to open the Karlsruhe Friendship Bridge and rode on the tram named to honour NMB’s founding father, Jim Taylor. The visit was extremely successful and will lead to closer links with Karlsruhe as a platform for developing further relationships across Germany.

Jens summarised that the mission is to increase Nottingham’s visibility in Germany through regular engagement for mutual benefit.

Thalej Vasishta – India:

Inward investment into Nottingham means diversity of people, ideas and opportunities. The building of international relations supports the Nottingham Growth Plan and benefits all in business here. There has been considerable activity already in building networks in India as illustrated in this video.

The British Indian Business Forum, founded in Nottingham is a well respected and well connected organisation that is key to building a successful investment bridge with India.

Two delegations have taken place to Chandigarh and Delhi and Nottingham City Council with the support of NMB is developing a partner network across the region.

A further delegation goes out to India in November and will tie in with the World Economic Forum, India Economic Summit and an Indian Business Expo taking place at the same time.

Thal closed by asking Nottingham and Nottinghamshire based businesses with expertise in taxation, employment and other professional matters who would like to get involved with the India project to tweet @nmbnottingham or @nottmps.

Jason Feehily – China:

China is worth £80m per year to the University of Nottingham and the Ningbo campus, which this year celebrates its 10 year anniversary has a student population of 6,300. Shanghai on its own has the economic output of Russia and Ningbo (a small city by China’s standards) has a population of 7m.

Jason highlighted the work of the Nottingham Confucius Institute and that 2015 is the Chinese Year of Cultural Exchange.

Linking to the UK government’s Business is Great initiative – Nottingham is Great and with the activity and energy we have across the city and county there can be no doubt that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are both a serious destination of choice for international investors.

David Bishop - Nottingham City Council

David Bishop from Nottingham City Council (pictured above) closed proceedings with the message that we have a huge opportunity in Nottingham to develop and expand our international presence, to open doors and to attract inward investment to the city.

From what was heard and discussed at this excellent event it’s exciting times for Nottingham as the city and business community collaboration forge ahead with Nottingham’s international campaign. We should be very proud of our international representatives, proud of what they’ve achieved already and even more excited by what is yet to come.