University of Leicester presents at Gateway to China event

Our University has played a key role in the “Gateway to China” a one-day event that was part of the last edition of the Leicester Business Festival.

At this occasion, several representatives from Leicester City Council, the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, and the China-Britain Business Council, gathered at the Leicester Tigers’ Stadium. The event targeted local entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to start or further develop commercial relations and trade exchanges with China. The objective was to give visibility to what existing local bodies, institutions, universities and students’ associations are currently doing to help and provide support, as well as stimulate networking.

Three universities took part to the event: University of Leicester, De Montfort University and Loughborough University.

From our University, Professor Sarah Dixon, PVC International, delivered a presentation entitled: “Opportunities for Doing Businesses with China and How Universities Can Help”, in which she illustrated a number of existing research collaborations between University of Leicester and Chinese universities. More importantly, she stressed the unique position and strengths of our new Innovation Hub, which provides support for SMEs, in a variety of ways.

Dr Giovanna Puppin, Lecturer and expert in cross-cultural communication and promotion to China, presented on “Educating and Training On China: How We Are Contributing”. She highlighted several events, such as last year’s “Researching China Day” organised by the CAHSS, as well as on-going training projects she is working on, such as her Taster on how to better understand the Chinese students “as consumers,” which was presented at last year’s LBF.

Dr Puppin, from our School of Media, Communication and Sociology, who has a background in Chinese Studies and extensive experience as a freelance consultant and entrepreneurial coach, explained that it is extremely important for our University to provide training on China. In this sense, the role played by academics like her is crucial.

Dr Puppin said: “Gateway to China proved to be an important moment of mutual encounter and knowledge exchange, which brought together experts coming from different backgrounds and working in different areas, but united by their interest for the Chinese market. In the intention of the organisers, occasions like this will continue and consolidate in the near future.”