Four companies including Chinese travel agency Ctrip have been recognized for their contributions to trade and investment between Scotland and China.
The travel company won the Investor of the Year prize at the Scotland China Business Awards 2019 in Edinburgh, organized by the China-Britain Business Council.
In 2016, Ctrip bought Edinburgh-based online search company Skyscanner for 1.4 billion pounds (US$1.8 billion). Since then, the company has employed 127 people in the Scottish capital, with plans to add more than 100 further jobs in the near future.
“As China’s leading travel service provider, Ctrip has been an important platform for Chinese travelers to Scotland, promoting exchanges between China and Scotland,” said Peter Mileham, general manager of Trip.com, which is owned by Ctrip.
“By investing in Skyscanner in 2016 and opening our first 24-hour operating overseas customer service center in Edinburgh last year, we hope to continue to build on this strong foundation and provide enhanced travel services for all of our customers’ needs.”
Three more companies received awards at the event. Aberdeen-headquartered energy services company Wood won Exporter of the Year; small-group tour company Rabbie’s Trail Burners won the China Welcome of the Year award; and the China-UK Low Carbon College scooped the Innovation in Education prize.
“Scotland and China have a long-established and important trading relationship,” said Scotland’s trade minister Ivan McKee.
“This event looks not only to support this historical connection but to welcome the new cultural, educational and business opportunities that continue to develop between our two countries.”
During the last year, Wood has worked with several Chinese organizations to deliver oil, natural gas and nuclear projects.
In February, Wood secured a framework agreement to provide technical assistance on a new nuclear power station in Bradwell, Essex. The energy project is a joint venture between the China General Nuclear Power Corporation and EDF Energy.
Wood has also exported subsea technical support to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation for a gas development in the South China Sea, and is part of the project management team for Sinopec’s Shanghai Ethylene Cracker Complex plant.
Rabbie’s, which runs small tours throughout the United Kingdom, was recognized for creating a number of China-specific offerings.
These include a GPS-triggered audio app, which provides commentary and local tales in Mandarin, and a new Mandarin guided tour to Loch Ness, a lake popularized by a mythical monster.
Last year, Rabbie’s and Ctrip partnered to create a new set of tours that take Chinese visitors off the beaten track to see what Scotland has to offer outside of its major cities Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The other award went to the newly launched China-UK Low Carbon College in Shanghai, a joint initiative between the University of Edinburgh and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which aims to establish itself as a key hub in the global effort to tackle environmental challenges.
HONG KONG NEWS