Chinese links fostered

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The UK's mayor of London Boris Johnson and minister for Olympics Tessa Jowell will speak at a series of meetings and events for a Chinese business delegation this week in London (16–20 March 2009).

The 'Connect to London' programme will be hosted by Think London, the foreign direct investment agency for London, and will promote the UK's capital as the number one business destination for Chinese companies. The trip by around 40 Chinese businessmen will aim to build upon relationships established by Think London and key partners including the mayor's office, Deloitte, LDA, LOCOG, ODA and UKTI during the 2008 Beijing Games and Think London's three month long road show through 11 Chinese cities last year. Think London and its partners will stage 19 business–related initiatives during the week, including a business lunch with the mayor of London, a seminar at the London Stock Exchange, a workshop on 2012 Games related opportunities, as well as Think London's annual Chinese Business Reception. VanceInfo Technologies, a leading Chinese outsourcing services provider and one of the delegates, will announce the opening of its European Headquarters in London during that week. Jeff Wu, Executive Vice President of VanceInfo Technologies, said: "London, being the gateway to Europe, is perfectly positioned to cater to our Europe business plan and needs, and this hasn't changed. In addition, the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games create very tangible opportunities which are here to stay. "Michael Charlton, chief executive of Think London, said: "Last year we spoke with hundreds of Chinese business leaders in–market wanting to 'Go Global', highlighting the £4bn economic opportunity associated with the 2012 Games. We look forward to welcoming 40 of those business leaders to London. Chinese companies have a unique window of opportunity to set up in London and realise the value for money that London offers in the current economic climate. The UK's capital is already the largest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investment of any city in Europe, and the support of emerging markets, such as China will be vital to London. "Think London has assisted 60 Chinese companies over the last 10 years in setting up in their operations in London including Alibaba. com, CCTV, China Eastern Airlines, China Netcom, CNOOC, Midea, Mindray, Shanghai General Electronics Group, China Unionpay, PetroChina, and ZTE.

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