WMES, on behalf of the West Midlands, has been working with a number of Chinese regions since May 2013 and has developed strong links with representatives of China’s National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) in the cities of Tianjin & Guangzhou. These links were initially fostered by DG REGIO’s CETREGIO (Chinese-European Training on Regional Development) and were strengthen through the follow-up programme World Cities.

The purpose of becoming involved in the CETREGIO and the World Cities Programmes has been to develop opportunities for collaboration between the West Midlands and Guangzhou and Tianjin around the following objectives:

  1. Inward Investment: There are possibilities for investment in infrastructure
  2. Business to Business Opportunities: Develop two way business to business opportunities particularly in the SME and 2nd and 3rd tier companies
  3. Research, Technology Development & Innovation Opportunities: There is an opportunity to develop opportunities (business support, incubation, start-up etc.) with Chinese companies, universities and research organisations
  4. Professional training, student exchange, apprenticeships and education (FEI & HEI): There are opportunities for student recruitment, delivering degree courses, apprenticeships and undertaking staff exchange programmes
  5. Cultural Links: All 3 areas have distinct heritage and cultural offerings which if shared could further strengthen links
  6. Civic Cooperation: There are opportunities to strengthen civic cooperation between the political leaders on issues such as sustainable and inclusive urbanisation.