The Golden Era: RMS Queen Mary 2 hosts Shanghai trade mission to boost UK-China maritime ties

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Maritime UK and the Department of International Trade (DIT) will lead a unique three-day trade mission to Shanghai at the end of March to promote the UK as The World’s Maritime Centre, providing a complete package for global maritime business.

Attended by senior industry and government leaders from both countries, including Shipping and Ports Minister, John Hayes MP, and Trade Minister, Mark Garnier MP, the mission has been timed to coincide with the RMS Queen Mary 2’s visit to Shanghai during its East Asian tour. The iconic vessel will be used to promote UK excellence across shipping, ports, marine, and business services and will play host to pioneering companies from across the maritime sector, a number of which are visiting China for the first time.

“The UK and China are two of the world’s leading maritime powers, and this trade mission is designed to further strengthen relations between our two countries, delivering benefits for both markets,“ said David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK.

“As the UK triggers Article 50 and looks to a future outside the European Union, the maritime sector has a unique and critical role in ensuring the country makes a success of Brexit. With a resolve to increase exports and sign ambitious trade deals with countries across the world the maritime industry has a unique opportunity to make ‘Global Britain’ a reality, and it is ready to do so.

“The trade and investment relationship between the UK and China has deepened over recent years, and during the visit Maritime UK and the DIT will be collaborating with the Pudong New Area to identify new maritime trade and investment opportunities for both the UK and China.”

David Dingle, who is also Chairman of Carnival UK added: ”A significant number of British companies are already working with China and we are looking forward to opening new chapters in these relationships, and beginning others.”

Following the Shanghai visit, the Maritime UK Chairman and Shipping and Ports Minister will visit Hong Kong to meet with the Hong Kong Shipowners Association.

The valuable relationships that have been established during the mission will be further strengthened by plans to extend personal London International Shipping Week (LISW) invitations to Chinese industry leaders, and the creation of a ‘Business Lounge’ during LISW, to continue to develop relationships created on the mission and with other countries.

Leaving the European Union, the UK will have the opportunity to forge new trade deals with countries around the world, including some of the most exciting, dynamic, and fastest growing economies.

The maritime industry is the engine and enabler of international trade, and as other industries resolve to boost their own exports to make a success of Brexit, the UK maritime industry is ready to deliver British goods to the rest of the world on UK ships and through UK ports.

Directly supporting 500,000 jobs, the maritime industry contributes £22.2bn to UK GDP and drives exports and inward investment throughout the UK.