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China's Greater Bay Area: Exploring Key Sectors for Direct Investment and M&A



China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) represents the country’s next wave of innovation, economic development, and market reform as it transforms into a globally competitive, connected, and innovative mega-region by 2035. As China continues to accelerate its progress, numerous opportunities are arising in key sectors such as manufacturing, sourcing, healthcare, and financial services for foreign investors to seize.

To help investors gain a clearer understanding of this vital and dynamic region and to help them better prepare for growth and opportunities, we bring together a panel of top foreign business experts from four leading China business consulting organizations to address the sector opportunities in the GBA for trade, FDI, and M&A.

Speakers from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the United Kingdomthe 48 GroupChina Investment Research, Charltons Law, and Dezan Shira & Associates discuss the growing number of business and investment opportunities within the GBA, focusing on several key sectors, through keynote presentations, a panel discussion and Q&A session.

Our speakers provide an introduction to the GBA, identify key participating cities, highlight major investment and trade opportunities and challenges, and discuss the GBA’s connection to and role in the BRI and Hong Kong.  Additionally, they will take a look at Hong Kong’s role as a central operational hub, the role of the GBA in the Health Silk Road, and examine how the GBA fits into the RCEP and CPTPP free trade agreements.

Welcome and Introduction – Stephen PerryChairman, The 48 Group

Opening Remarks - Yang Xiaoguang, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the United Kingdom 

An Overview of the GBA – Alberto VettorettiManaging Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates
- Why the GBA is One of the World’s Leading Manufacturing and Sourcing Hubs
- Opportunities and Challenges in the GBA

The GBA & the Health Silk Road  – Henry TillmanChairman, China Investment Research
- Development of the Health Silk Road in the Past Two Years
- 2021 Developments and Focus on BRI Healthcare Vaccine Hubs

Hong Kong’s Role in the GBA – Julia CharltonPrincipal Partner, Charltons Law
- Opportunities for Financial Services and Securities Investment in the GBA Through Hong Kong
- Legal System and GBA Opportunities for Professionals

The GBA & the BRI – Chris Devonshire-EllisChairman, Dezan Shira & Associates / Managing Editor, Asia Briefing Limited
- The GBA and Regional Free Trade Agreements
- The GBA in Context of the Belt & Road Initiative

Business Investment Opportunities within the GBA – Open Q&A to Panel 

Conclusions and Closing



Speakers and Bios


Yang Xiaoguang
Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the United Kingdom

Yang Xiaoguang is a Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Chinese Embassy to the United Kingdom, and holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation of Northeastern University in China. He received full scholarship from the ORSAS awards of UK and University of Birmingham in 2007.


Stephen Perry 
Chairman, The 48 Group

Stephen is chair of the legendary 48 Group who have been working with China since 1953. Their mission is to develop a positive relationship with China. He is a graduate of the University College of London, Chairman of the London Export Corp, and an Honorary Professor of the University of International Business and Economics. He was honored with the China Reform Friendship Medal by Xi Jinping in 2018.   


 Chris Devonshire-Ellis 
Chairman, Dezan Shira & Associates / Managing Editor, Asia Briefing Limited

Chris is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates, a foreign direct investment advisory firm founded in 1992 now operational throughout China and Asia with some 32 offices and several hundred professional legal and tax staff. He founded Asia Briefing publications in 1999. He is a Visiting Professor at the Higher School of Economics of the Moscow State University specializing in the Belt & Road Initiative.    


 Henry Tillman
Chairman, China Investment Research

Henry has over 35 years of experience as an international banker, with senior Executive Management roles at BZW and ABN Amro where he had global roles with a focus on Asia and since 1996, particularly on China.  Since then, he has focused on consultancy driven from a bespoke database on Chinese outbound investment, which has grown to become globally recognized for its reconciled data on China, and on the BRI.


 Julia Charlton
Principal Partner, Charltons Law

Julia, a corporate finance lawyer, advises regulators, financial institutions, and listed companies on the listing rules of both the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and GEM. She is experienced in the fields of securities law, capital markets, private equity, M&A, investment funds, restructuring and regulatory issues. She is a senior fellow of the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institutes, a member of the Takeovers and Mergers Panel and the Takeovers Appeals Committee of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, a member of the Disciplinary Panel (Panel A) of the Hong Kong Institue of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Company Law Committee of the Hong Kong Law Society.


 Alberto Vettoretti
Managing Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates

Alberto joined Dezan Shira & Associates as an equity partner in 1998. Now the Managing Partner, the firm has grown into a pan-Asia organization advising foreign investors throughout Asia. Alberto obtained a bachelor’s degree in Chinese, Economics, and Management from the University of Durham and an MSc with a specialization in Chinese law from the University of Staffordshire. 


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