The UK Garden and Pavilion at the Beijing Expo 2019 – the largest horticultural exhibition in the world – has been unveiled today.
Christina Scott, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Beijing, and Richard Burn, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for China announced the opening in the afternoon of April 29.
There is also a five-month programme of activities, which has been developed with key partners, including the British Council and Visit Britain and focuses on innovation in environmental management and building trade relationships.
Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Beijing, Christina Scott said:
Our garden is a vibrant celebration of British horticultural heritage and creativity. We are delighted to be sharing it with all the visitors here at the Beijing Expo. I hope they will be inspired by our exciting programme that includes the best of Britain in film, sport, television, and music.
The UK is a leader in innovation and sustainable development. Our theme of ‘Innovation for a Greener Future’ celebrates the UK’s strengths when tackling developmental challenges. This is why our Expo programming is built around topics such as clean energy, environmental protection, and green finance.
Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for China Richard Burn added:
The Expo will be a significant moment for UK-China relations and a chance to celebrate this blossoming trade relationship. I hope that the UK Garden will not only demonstrate our nation’s expertise in horticulture, but also help promote sustainable development in China and prosperity for both countries.
Beginning with a showcase of UK gin hosted by the Food is GREAT campaign, the events programme will culminate in a ‘National Day’ celebration on September 17. Other key events include a green-themed ‘Children’s Education Day’ hosted by the China National Children’s Centre on June 1 (National Children’s Day) and others themed around agritech and new technologies. Seminars, exhibitions and discussions will be focussed around major environmental global challenges and the sharing of best practice in sustainable solutions.
Garden and Pavilion
The UK Garden and Pavilion, which celebrates the theme “Innovating for a Greener Future”, is being led by the DIT, working with a consortium of architectural and design companies led by M-Integrated Solutions, with horticultural expertise from Briony Doubleday, Bees’ Gardens and design support from David Morley Architects.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:
Our bilateral trade relationship with China is stronger than ever, with our total trade between the UK and China at £68.5 billion in the year to December 2018. The Beijing expo is an opportunity to celebrate this relationship.
I often repeat the fact the IMF estimates, between 2019 and 2023, 90% of global economic growth will originate from outside the European Union, and I’m delighted that my international economic department is ensuring the UK can take full advantage of the opportunities offered.
The UK Garden spans health, personal and urban spaces, bio-diversity, UK heritage and art.
Visitors will learn how herbs and flowers can be used in everyday food and drink. They’ll also be shown how urban space can be transformed into areas of cultivation and play by bringing the natural world into the city and inspiring people to live more sustainable lives. This will include how to reuse, refresh or recycle their products.
A meadow will showcase the importance of animal pollinators, particularly the honey bee, while bringing to the fore the challenges facing our meadows in the UK.
Also featured will be installations by sculptor Rob Mulholland, using a variety of different materials and forms to show the delicate relationship between humans and the natural world.
The Expo will take place just outside Beijing, part of a cluster of developments alongside the Great Wall, and the site of the Beijing Winter Olympics. It will showcase gardens and pavilions from 110 countries and international organisations under the theme “Live Green, Live Better”.
Major UK businesses will also be in attendance and the event will be a valuable platform for the UK to build pan-China political and trade relationships.
China is an important trading partner for the UK and represents a significant future trading opportunity, statistics show by 2030 Asia will represent 66% of the global middle-class population and 59% of middle-class consumption, highlighting the need for the UK to invest in its relationship.
According to research by Barclays, around 60% of people in China would actually pay more for a product, just because they knew it was British, and at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai in August 2018, British firms signed deals worth more than £2 billion, emphasising the global appetite for the UK’s goods and services.