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The 6th CBBC China Business Conference March 2018

The 19th Party Congress has set the scene for China’s direction and focus for future development, with the aim of creating a ‘prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful’ country by the middle of this century.

With China’s increasingly international role and the UK’s focus on opportunities beyond Europe, what are the implications for bilateral relations – and what are the consequences for business?


  • Plenary session – China and the UK: A relationship for the New Era

  • Belt & Road: Project of the Century

  • Future Cities – The China Dream

  • The Chinese Consumer

  • Building Chinese Government Relationships

  • Selling Services in China

  • Getting Goods to China

For more information about this event please click here.

International Transport - Leaders of the Future

The University of Suffolk, Associated British Ports and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is launching a new leadership development programme for those working in International Transport.

We’re very pleased to announce dates for the first cohort on the International Transport: Leaders of the Future programme. The six-day course, running at the University of Suffolk. It is aimed at those who have recently taken on supervisory or management roles, or who would like to do so in the near future.

With the support of the New Anglia Local Skills Deal Programme, the course is available at a discounted rate of £500 for the six day programme.
Full details, including the dates of all 6 sessions are available to view here.

Transport & Healthcare Trade Mission to Egypt

The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce invite you to participate in our forthcoming Transport & Healthcare Trade Mission to Egypt, taking place from 11 to 15 February 2018. This Trade Mission is organised in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), the British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), and Egyptian British Business Council (EBBC).

The Government of Egypt recognizes the UK as a key player in several sectors, with an emphasis on collaboration in the transportation & healthcare sectors.


A huge effort is underway in Egypt to upgrade public and private healthcare facilities. The government is looking for investment in medical manufacturing facilities, particularly in the new Suez Canal Economic Zone.

With a growing population already over 100 million to accommodate, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing is building new cities that require hospitals and medical centres. There is a further need for high-quality medical furniture, appliances, surgical equipment, disposables and pharmaceuticals.


Egypt’s Ministry of Transport has significant development targets in three main areas; roads & bridges, railways & metro, and maritime (ports, dry ports and river ports). The Ministry is actively looking for private sector involvement in the construction of a new road network (2000km), the renewal of 1200km rail tracks, the purchase and local manufacturing of 1300 rail passenger coaches, the maintenance of 150 rail stations, and replacement & renewal of rolling stocks (priority). The metro system is expanding from 77km currently to 300km by 2024, a total of 6 lines will service the Greater Cairo area.

Their three-day programme includes meetings with senior officials in government, site visits and B2B opportunities. 

For more information please visit The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce linked here or email Karin Van Wesep:

British Chamber of Commerce - Key Changes to VAT

Our colleague Joe Hepworth, CEO British Centres for Business in Saudi Arabia has drawn our attention to a key change to VAT that will be introduced into the United Arab Emirates on 1st January 2018. All GCC countries have agreed that it will be mandatory for companies with revenue of over approximately US$100,000 to be VAT registered with the Federal Tax Authority.  It will be voluntary for companies with a turnover of more than US$50,000, but with thresholds so low, the majority of companies in the UAE will pay VAT.

With the go-live date of VAT in the region just 2 months away those exporting to GCC countries using the DDP Incoterm should be aware of the 5% charge being introduced. The Charge of VAT on imports will work in a similar way as it does in the EU at present with the VAT being paid before goods can be released.  Where appropriate the importer will be able to reclaim the VAT paid.

For the latest information as well as more detailed information please refer to the UAE Ministry of Finance website

Please share this email with colleagues at your Chamber as appropriate. 

British Colombian Chamber of Commerce

On October 19, the Colombian Congress approved an $81.3bn budget for 2018. This budget has increased by 1% from last year 233.1 trillion pesos budget. On October 24, the Ministry of Finance of Colombia released an adjusted 2018 budget. The full presentation in Spanish here. The 235.5 trillion pesos plan is the final budget for the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos who will leave the office in August 2018. The sectors that will benefit most from the plan are education (37 trillion pesos) and defence (31 trillion pesos). Additionally, the government will spend 2.4 trillion on post-conflict projects in order to continue the implementation of the peace deal with the FARC rebel group reached in 2016.

International tourism on track for a record year

Demand for international tourism remained strong during the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season as international tourist arrivals in July and August totalled over 300 million for the first time according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Many destinations reported double-digit growth, in particular in the Mediterranean.

Between January and August, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016. This corresponds to a robust 7 per cent increase, well above the growth of previous years. With upbeat prospects for the remaining months of the year, 2017 is set to be the eighth consecutive year of continued solid growth for international tourism.

Building Strong Financial Ecosystems

Hong Kong can help manage investment risks along the Belt and Road, says former senior IMF official Zhu Min. China’s Belt and Road Initiative offers an economic growth solution to counter sluggish global growth, according to Dr Zhu Min, President of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University and former Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At a recent presentation hosted by the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Dr Zhu discussed how the development plan can help spur global growth, with Hong Kong playing a central role in mitigating investment risks in Belt and Road projects. 

If you would like to learn more about any of the news please contact Rachel Cornes