Key takeaways from China’s Two Sessions and UK-China healthcare panels 2024
  • Hot topics – China’s Two Sessions, what does it mean to Western companies?
  • Insights – Healthcare UK-China 2024: trends, opportunities and challenges;
  • What did it take to succeed in China for a UK deep tech company?
  • Our company guest book for March

👉 Hot topics

China’s ‘Two Sessions’, key takeaways and what it means to Western companies

The Two Sessions, the annual gathering of China’s parliament and top political advisory body, is when the Premier delivers his work report and reveals the roadmap for the coming year, laying out economic goals and setting the tone for policymakers. The world watches the events closely for insights into the priorities and indications of changes to come that may have wide-ranging implications.

A 5% GDP growth, a target described as ‘ambitious’ by some analysts but labelled as ‘easy homework’ by others, is one of the five ‘no changes’ laid out by Nikkei Asia. Other key takeaways include: high tech push, restoring economic confidence, as well as tightening control and ‘no new appointments’ at top level of power.

More are highlighted and discussed in the Beijing to Britain podcast: the swing between national security and economic growth, economic stability, industrial modernisation, quality development through sci-tech innovation and advancement, more self-sufficient in tech, and striving to be world leader in cutting edge and core technologies, such as space industry,  EV and AI.

A think tank suggests that the Two Sessions showcased China’s ‘goal of widely deploying AI throughout the economy in 2024’. It is actually one of the country’s top priorities for the year ahead ‘to pursue digital transformation by integrating AI across all sectors of the economy as part of the newly announced “AI+” initiative’. While more details are to come, proposals put forth during the meetings about AI model development, data sharing, skills development, and safety point to the main focus in the AI field in the coming months, it says.

Further reading …

China gives itself easy GDP homework | Reuters

Restoring confidence

After the Two Sessions, Premier Li Qiang visited some companies in the high tech and clean energy industry, sending out unmistakable policy signals. His speech in a recent high-level China Development Forum in Beijing caught much attention too. He told the forum in his keynote address that:

  • China is to remove more barriers for foreign companies, highlighting opportunities for global investors in various areas boosted by macroeconomic policy, urbanisation, industrial upgrades and the transition to a green economy;
  • Issues and concerns frequently raised by foreign companies operating in China, including market access, public tendering and cross-border data flow, are being ‘carefully’ studied by Beijing.

Among those attending the forum is a British delegation led by the Lord Mayor of the City of London+ All-Party Group attended the Forum. This is one of the first major group visits of UK MPs after the end of the pandemic.

Shanghai has followed Beijing in rolling out a new plan to attract foreign investment, it is reported. Issues tackled by the plan include streamlining regulatory procedures, facilitating cross-border data transfers,and IPR protection, all of which are of major concerns of British businesses in China.

Further reading:

👉 Insights: UK-China healthcare 2024: trends, opportunities, and restrictions

What opportunities are available in the UK healthcare sector for overseas investors? What are Asian investors, especially PE, interested in the UK? And what does the investment landscape in the Chinese healthcare sector look like? How do overseas businesses get there and what should they expect regarding market conditions, rules and regulations, legal matters, and practicalities?

These were some of the topics covered in a hybrid event consisting of online and offline panel discussions organised in association with Eversheds Sutherland and King & Wood Mallesons earlier this month. About 50 participants from the business community in both countries, as well as legal experts, scholars, and government organisations, joined the event

Read more about the insightful and thought provoking discussions here.

Also on succeeding in China…how?

One of the clients of, Cambridge Mechatronics Ltd, has quite a few to say about that. Ting Zhang, Founder & CEO of had an insightful talk with Andrew Bickley , Co-Managing Director, about CML’s success story in China. You can watch the video here, or read the conversation here.

👉 Visits, visits, visits …

  • A regular client visit to ION Science Ltd. proved to be a pleasant surprise. Nestled in a small, quiet village near Cambridge, ION is planning big, for the global market. Over the past three years has been providing support to ION from marketing strategy to implementation for its China operation. ION started making technologically advanced gas detection equipment and OEM PID Gas Sensors in 1989, now a world leader in the field. Learn more here.
  • Another client meeting in our office at St John’s Innovation Centre Ltd in Cambridge ended with Jitske de Vries, Marketing Manager at The Company of Biologists happy and smiling as a CoB WeChat account issue was solved with help from Enyun Li, our client service manager. More on this visit here.
  • Crayfish also hosted a visit by the London-based European representative of The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) to Cambridge.  CCPIT is a trade body under China’s Ministry of Commerce.  The team was very impressed to learn about Cambridge’s vibrant tech ecosystem and the visit is likely to lead to formal collaboration with in the coming months in facilitating the engagement between the Cambridge cluster and China.