ONE of the most influential figures in world politics has met with JCB officials for an event to promote trade growth for British companies.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a lavish banquet at the reception for British business.
The event, held at the Natural History Museum in London, hosted prestigious guests including chancellor or the exchequer George Osbourne and HRH the Duke of York.
And the Rocester-based digger giant’s top brass looked to further improve Anglo-Chinese relations after opening a manufacturing plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, in 2006.
Construction equipment manufacturers already sell around 250,000 machines a year to service China’s booming construction equipment market.
Lord Bamford was accompanied by his son, JCB director Joe Bamford, as he shook hands with His Excellency Li Keqiang, premier of the People’s Republic of China.
Lord Bamford said: “The Chinese Premier was genuinely interested in JCB’s business and how JCB is performing in China.
“It was an excellent event and an ideal opportunity to promote the JCB business and brand to a market which will become increasingly important to JCB’s growth in the future.
“The Chinese construction equipment market is 10 times the size of that in the UK so there is a huge opportunity in China for businesses like ours.”
JCB’s Chinese plant spans 86,000 square metres of land and manufactures heavy tracked excavators and midi excavators.
The firm, which is Uttoxeter’s biggest employer, has established a solid network of 27 dealers through which to sell its Chinese-made machines.
The banquet was organised by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), which has been set up to help British firms develop their operations in the Far East.
Last week, business secretary Vince Cable visited JCB and its Rocester academy.
He was shown round classrooms equipped with more than £1 million worth of modern engineering equipment.