Lincolnshire firms already benefiting from agreement with China

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Following Lincolnshire further strengthening its economic ties with China’s Hunan province earlier this month, CityX has spoken with Siemens, whose Lincoln factory is already benefiting from ties with China.

As previously reported, on Thursday, October 11, representatives from the province, led by Kemin Wang, Deputy Director of Standing Committee of Hunan Provincial People’s Congress, visited the county to sign a formal Lincolnshire-Hunan Sister Region agreement.

This will enable Lincolnshire businesses to enter Chinese markets with greater ease, thanks to the endorsement by the Chinese government.

Celebrating the friendship between Lincolnshire and Hunan

So far, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd’s Lincoln factory has benefitted from ties with China, supply around gas turbines to ZNGT.

Robin McMillan, Business Development Director, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd, said: “We’ve been working with ZNGT for the last decade and in that time have supplied around 40 gas turbines from the Lincoln factory.

“To put this into context – it represents one year’s average external order intake for the Lincoln factory.

“The agreement we have to work with ZNGT has provided access to a market which previously had been difficult to access.

“But, having worked with them for the last 10 years, we now have a Chinese supply chain which has helped open up new relationships in the market. It has also lead to similar partnerships being developed in Europe.

“In 2017 we achieved a 40% share of the gas turbine market in China and will look at building on that over the coming years.”

How can other local businesses benefit?

Justin Brown, Commissioner for Economic Growth, told CityX: “Chinese business leaders often look for endorsement from the government before entering into a trade agreement.

“Lincolnshire businesses can show that they are part of our sister agreement and that will help them to enter markets that they couldn’t otherwise enter.”

It is believed over 2,000 businesses in the Hunan Province are keen to do business with Lincolnshire.

Justin added: “By signing our sister relationship and by making information about Lincolnshire businesses available to Hunan, we have been able to raise awareness.

“Our meeting identified around 30 different opportunities to collaborate, and we will be following up with Hunan over the next few weeks -refining the list to the ones that are most achievable.

“We have agreed a series of video conference meetings etc to make this happen.

“There is also a Lincolnshire student, George Collison, who hopes to undertake an internship in Hunan and will be pursuing the food production opportunities in particular.”

For firms looking to find out more about how to do business with the Hunan region, they are encouraged to contact Simon Murphy who is co-ordinating Lincolnshire’s work with Hunan.