Press release

UK embraces healthcare collaboration with south China

Minister for Asia Alok Sharma leads a delegation of UK healthcare and life science businesses to south China to explore trade opportunities.

Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Alok Sharma

UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mr Alok Sharma, is leading a delegation of UK healthcare and life science business leaders to south China to explore opportunities to increase trade and collaboration between the UK and China.

The delegation will visit Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Xiamen, showcasing world class UK expertise and developing export opportunities for the UK across the region.

After 3 days in South China, Mr Sharma will travel to Beijing for a series of political meetings with Chinese Ministers. He will make a speech to mark 45 years of UK-China ambassadorial relations ahead of the official anniversary on 13 March 2017.

In Guangzhou, the Minister will open a healthcare roundtable at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University between UK businesses and representatives of this prestige Chinese university and its 10 affiliated hospitals. The session will focus on UK capabilities in hospital infrastructure, training and education, digital health and out-of-hospital care. The Minister will also witness the signing of an agreement between Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital and Cardiff University on breast cancer research.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Minister for Asia and the Pacific Alok Sharma said:

The UK has a strong and innovative healthcare and life sciences sector. Our NHS ranks amongst the best in the world. British expertise and businesses are well placed to support China in achieving its national vision of ‘Healthy 2030’.

There is a wealth of investment and export opportunities for the UK across south China. Guangdong has the largest GDP of all China’s provinces and its economy grew by 7.5% last year. Part of Fujian’s Free Trade Zone, Xiamen is the sixteenth largest port in the world, and its openness to trade has made it a pioneer in economic reform.

China has the largest education system in the world, with an estimated market value of £340 billion by 2020. Our world class British universities are already collaborating on areas like healthcare training, research, clinical services and new hospital buildings and refurbishment. I look forward to seeing even greater cooperation and commercial and export opportunities for British businesses.

Mr Sharma will open a newly-expanded UK Visa Application Centre in Fuzhou as part of plans to accommodate the increasing number of Chinese applicants. Fuzhou is one of 15 centres across China, welcoming visitors to study, holiday and invest in the UK.

The Minister will also visit Xiamen, Cardiff’s flourishing sister city and part of the Fujian Free Trade Zone. Xiamen University has connections with more than 12 British universities, and is partnering with Cardiff University on a new dental school.

Further information

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Published 13 February 2017