Chinese students studying in the UK are to be recruited by a government agency to help British companies enter the Chinese market.
Exports agency UK Trade and Investment on Nov 25 launched the Great Ambassadors China program under which Chinese-speaking students will liaise with companies in Britain, helping them to understand the language, culture and the way business operates in China.
UKTI selected China as the target market for its pilot project because of the 70,000 Chinese students currently studying in Britain, the largest demographic group of overseas students in the country.
Additionally, the growing Chinese market is expected to become the largest among all emerging markets for trade and investment.
UKTI officials predict China will invest $1.25 trillion overseas over the coming 10 years.
The University of Sheffield in northern England has been chosen as the host institution for the pilot project because it boasts the largest Chinese student population in Britain, as well as one of the country’s largest and most established East Asian Studies departments.
Paul White, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, said, “I am delighted that the University of Sheffield has been chosen to be the host institution for the Great Ambassadors China pilot project and am looking forward to watching the scheme grow.”
White said the project will provide a wide range of long-term career benefits for students as well as leaving a lasting impact on the businesses involved.
“This scheme gives our Chinese-speaking students the unique opportunity to acquire valuable employable skills with innovative companies who are looking to develop and expand their trade links with China,” added White.
Lord Livingston, the trade and investment minister, said: “China offers great opportunities for UK companies of all sizes, with growing demand for brand Britain. Chinese-speaking students can help UK businesses to overcome the linguistic and cultural barriers that could stand between them and the Chinese market.”