International Update from the City Chambers
The Council has received many international delegations throughout the busy Festival period, and on each occasion there is an opportunity to link in partners across the city where strategic connections can be further explored to mutual benefit. Our International Visits Management Scheme is in place throughout the year and helps coordinate requests from delegations into the city and allows pooling of resources and speakers from a wide range of interests.
In terms of outward engagement, Edinburgh was invited to be a guest of our twin city Xi’an, China, in May, at the 3rd International Silk and Road Expo. The CEOs of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre joined the delegation at the UK Pavillion, and, as a result, discussions are underway on a senior business delegation from the Shaanxi Province visiting Edinburgh later this year.
Links with Shenzhen, China, also continue to develop following the establishment of soft landing space in each city for the creative and tech industries. ‘Smart Shenzhen’ – www.smartshenzhen.com.cn presented three winning companies to an Edinburgh audience in July, opening up a new dialogue in the life sciences / healthcare and performance / production sectors.
The new direct flight route with Beijing, which started in June this year, is boosting further awareness of Edinburgh for both tourism and business from China.
Edinburgh’s partner city Krakow co-hosted the UNESCO Creative Cities summit in June. Edinburgh was the founding member of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, which now extends to 180 member cities over 72 countries. As partner cities, Krakow and Edinburgh have co-managed the UNESCO City of Literature network, and during the event a new writer in residency project was announced by the Lord Provost and Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence. The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has an agreement with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce in Krakow and as university cities with strong heritage and tourism sectors, direct flights, and a very active Polish Consulate here in Edinburgh, there are clear business opportunities for both.
Final preparations are underway at the City Chambers for the Eurocities 2018 Conference, which will take place at the EICC in Edinburgh from 28-30 November. Registration is open to all at www.eurocities2018.eu and sponsorship opportunities remain available to suit a range of budgets. This is only the third time the Eurocites Conference has been hosted in the UK, and this year, at Edinburgh’s initiative, there will be a Youth Ambassador programme for the first time, drawing 18-30 year olds from over 60 cities across Europe. Edinburgh business community with sponsorship opportunities. Companies may choose to use the occasion to reach the conference audience through branding, or to demonstrate innovative city solutions in areas such as ‘smart city’ and tech, creative industries, sustainability and energy, global finance and fintech, or opt to engage in our efforts to use the conference to support skills development and youth initiatives. In each case, sponsors will have an opportunity to showcase relevant initiatives and gain high level international visibility during the event.
In terms of inward Investment, new accolades such as being awarded the most influential small city in Europe (Colliers International), help raise Edinburgh’s profile as an international business location. Recent inward investors into the city are available to view on our Invest Edinburgh website, along with a string of case studies and blogs on why companies are choosing to locate here.
Finally, this quarter’s Invest Edinburgh magazine looks at how Edinburgh is continuing to position itself internationally to grow in fintech, blockchain and life science innovation.
By Elaine Ballantyne, Head of Investment and International Relations at Edinburgh Council