ICM Chief Executive networks with Chinese government

9:30am GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008
China's Chongqing is the largest city in the world with a population of 32 million.

China's Chongqing is the largest city in the world with a population of 32 million.

Professor Tom Thomas, ICM’s Chief Executive, attended a networking event on Tuesday 5 August in London, hosted by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC).

The investment promotion seminar and networking lunch was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Park Lane, initiated by the Chongqing Municipal Government, looking to raise awareness of the thriving business and economic environment in the city and its widespread investment opportunities.

Mayor of Chongqing, Mr Wang Hongju, spoke about the fast-growing city that is, in fact, the largest city in the world with a population of over 32 million. It is the largest and most populous of the China’s four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western region of China (the other three on the east coast are Beijing, Shanghai and TianJin).

The seminar featured a number of other high-level speakers, exploring specific sector projects and areas of investment. Alongside Mayor Wang, others present included Mrs Fu Ying, the Chinese Ambassador to UK, and Mr Li Jianchun, the Director General of the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission. Representatives from the UK included the Rt Hon Rosie Winterton, Minister of State for Transport, John Prescott, ex- Deputy Prime Minister and Mr Peter Budd, Vice Chairman of the CBBC.

Professor Thomas discussed possible links for ICM with a number of the Chongqing delegation at the event yesterday and further discussions are ongoing. With 56 universities, 341 colleges and over 200,000 graduates per year, the potential for collaboration in terms of education is immense.

He said: “The demand for education and training in China is growing at a significant pace and currently cannot be satisfied by existing supply. As a global education provider, the ICM is in a strong position to assist in the development of new vocational programmes in this region. I am excited about the prospects of developing further partnerships in China.”

Due to visit in September, Professor Thomas hopes to further expand on these links and progress ICM’s relationship with this particularly dynamic and fast-developing city.

By Heidi Lees-Bell