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Cambridge Chinese New Year Reception
February 15th 2011
The Gillespie Centre, Clare College, Cambridge University

Sir John Boyd KCMG, Chairman of Asia House will deliver a keynote address followed by a discussion chaired by Hugh Davies CMG, Chairman of the China Association, Vice Chairman of the Great Britain China Centre, member of the Executive Committee of the CBBC and of the Committee of the 48 Group Club where Sir John and Hugh will reflect upon their distinguished careers and will be joined by business leaders to discuss topical China related issues of the day. Not to be missed!

This lecture is free to attend but spaces are limited so we invite to you to apply for a place stating your area of interest / expertise by emailing sophie.guo@marchpublishing.co.uk

Sponsorship opportunities are available, packages including a seat on the discussion panel, VIP front section auditorium seats reserved for sponsors' and supporters' guests and places at the dinner for speakers and sponsors in the Small Hall (image at end of page) following the lecture. To enquire click here

Supported by the 48 Group Club, Asia House, UK Trade & Investment, the China-Britain Business Council, the Pacific Basin Economic Council, Clare College, International Trade Focus and Department of East Asian Studies, University of Cambridge:

PBEC Clare College ITF

The Pacific Basin Economic Council is the independent voice of business in the Pacific. For more info about PBEC click here

Event programme:

14.00 - 17.30 Conference on Eco Cities and Green Building.

14.00 – 14.15 Opening remarks by Alan Kell, co-Chair of the UK - China Eco Cities and Green Building Group, a UK and Chinese government and industry initiative, how UK companies can and are engaging with £ multi-billion green
building and eco city projects in China, strategic alliances & MOUs with Chinese regions and cities and the UK's presence at IGEBC, the Chinese government's flagship international event for this industry held annually in Beijing on March 28 -30

14.15 – 14.25 Update on business opportunities by Paul Sharpe, UK Trade & Investment

14.25 – 14.50 China's 12th 5 year plan by Katherine Liu, China Services Director, BDO International, China Advisory Services, BDO LLP

14.50 – 15.15 An International approach to sustainable communities by Pete Halsall, Bioregional Quintain

15.15 Comfort break

15.25 – 16.00
Visionary Concepts of Low Carbon, High Growth ECO Centres, Cities and Climate Change Campuses by Professor Alan Barrell, Entrepreneur in Residence, Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School, Cambridge University 

16.00 – 16.45 Panel discussion

16.45 Summary

17.00 Refreshments in the Garden Room

18.00 - 19:30 Chinese New Year Lecture.
Keynote address by Sir John Boyd, Chairman of Asia House, followed by discussion on topical China related issues of the day chaired by Hugh Davies, Chairman of the China Association and featuring Alan Kell, co-Chair of the UK - China Eco Cities and Green Building Group, Professor Alan Barrell, Entrepreneur in Residence, Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School, Cambridge University and Katherine Liu, China Services Director, BDO International, China Advisory Services, BDO LLP.


Sir John Boyd was born in 1936 in Cambridge, England.  He was educated at Westminster School.  After national service in the RAF he went up to Clare College, Cambridge, in 1956, reading first Natural Sciences and then Modern Languages.  Captained the Cambridge University fencing team.  Attended Yale University as a Clare Fellow, 1960-62, studying Chinese language and history.  MA in Far Eastern Area Studies.  Travelled in US and Europe with the Yale Russian Chorus.

John Boyd joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1962.  Spent two years in Hong Kong as a Chinese language student before being posted for a first spell in Peking (1965-67) at the outset of the Cultural Revolution.  Returned as First Secretary to the Foreign Office, going on to serve in Washington (1969-73) and again Peking (1973-75).  On promotion to Counsellor, Boyd was on loan to the British Treasury before taking up assignments in Bonn, in charge of economic reporting, and the UK Mission to the UN, where he specialised in ECOSOC issues and the “Global Negotiations”.  He returned to London as Assistant Under Secretary for Asia at the FCO before being seconded to the Hong Kong Government as Political Adviser to Governor Edward Youde in the period of initial implementation of the 1984 Joint Declaration with China concerning Hong Kong.  Boyd was involved in cross border negotiations in a variety of fields and travelled extensively in the mainland.

On return to London from Hong Kong, served under Sir Geoffrey Howe (now Lord Howe) as Deputy Under Secretary for Defence Policy and under Mr. Douglas Hurd (now Lord Hurd) as “Chief Clerk”, the DUS responsible for Diplomatic Service administration.  The first job meant frequent travel to the US.  The second meant close involvement in long term modernisation of FCO personnel, training and communications systems, and in the search for cooperative solutions to problems facing all foreign services.

Boyd was Ambassador to Tokyo 1992-96, at a time of vigorous growth in UK/Japan relations across the board: over forty British ministerial visits to Japan during this period, a widening shared agenda and marked gains in investment both ways as well as scientific, educational, cultural and defence exchanges. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in January 1996.

From 1996 Boyd served for ten years as Master of Churchill College, Cambridge.  This period was marked by continued broadening of the College's external links and by the acquisition for the Archives Centre of the papers of Lady Thatcher and subsequently former Prime Minster, Sir John Major.  Also in this period Boyd served as Chairman of the British Museum, a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Vice-Chairman of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, Chairman of Bedales School and later the Cambridge Union Society. He is also a trustee of the Wordsworth Trust in the English Lake District. On the US/UK front he is a trustee of RAND (Europe) UK.  Boyd also co-chaired the Nuffield Languages Inquiry, an examination of Britain's future foreign languages needs.  His chief Cambridge engagement now is as Chairman of the Trustees of the Joseph Needham Institute, specialising in the history of Chinese and wider Asian science and technology.  He continues to travel to East Asia and is on the board of the 21st Century Group which helps steer the strategic relationship with Japan.  In January 2010 John Boyd became Chairman of Asia House, the leading pan-Asian organisation in London.

Boyd is an Honorary Fellow of Westminster School and Clare College and a Life Fellow of Churchill College. He is holder of the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun, a Japanese decoration.

Hugh Davies CMG

Hugh was born in India, educated at Cambridge, and spent 33 years in the British Diplomatic Service, much of it in East Asia, including China, Hong Kong and Singapore. In the 1980s he headed the British Embassy trade promotion section in Beijing as Commercial Counsellor and in the early 1990s he was Senior British Trade Commissioner in Hong Kong. His final overseas posting was as Ambassador leading the British team in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group during the last four years of negotiations for the Handover in Hong Kong in 1997.

Hugh Davies with President Hu Jintao in London

His final home assignment was to arrange and escort the British Prime Minister’s 1998 visit to China. In 1999 he took up an appointment in the insurance business. He has subsequently worked in both Prudential Plc and Old Mutual Plc, planning their entry strategies into the China life insurance market. He has also helped companies in the automobile, energy, and security sectors seeking an understanding of China.

He has a lifetime experience of living, working and getting to understand much of Asia. As a child he lived in India and in Singapore. During his FCO career, he lived in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He was also at various times responsible for UK relations with these countries and also with Japan and Korea. During his time with Prudential, he was a regular visitor to most of the countries of East Asia. He knows India, Malaysia, and Vietnam well, and has visited Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and Taiwan in a business capacity in recent years. He has visited China at least 3 to 4 times a year in recent years.

Hugh Davies with HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang Nov 2005

Hugh is a Chinese linguist. Between 1999 and 2005 he was an Executive Director of Prudential Corporation Asia Ltd and Senior Group Adviser Asia for Prudential Plc. He assisted in Prudential’s expansion into six countries in Asia over this period, including China. On leaving Prudential in early 2005 he accepted a 12 months’ assignment with Old Mutual and has been instrumental in their entry into the China market in early 2006.


Hugh Davies with Premier Wen Jiabao in London
Hugh Davies with Deng Xiaoping Aug 1985

As an independent consultant, he also worked for 12 months with MG Rover in 2002/03 during their attempts to find a Chinese partner. In 2004/05, he carried out research and analysis projects on Chinese energy procurement for both Middle East Consultancy (MEC) and for JETRO. With Orient Asian Partners, established in 2005,. clients have included, not only Old Mutual, but also a major international security services firm seeking a better understanding of China’s oil and gas sector.


Hugh is a regular speaker at China related conferences. He spoke at the EU China Summit in The Hague in December 2004. In 2005, he spoke at a Windsor Energy Group seminar on China and the Middle East, an Economist China Business Conference, the Association of British Insurers’ Annual Conference, a Baker &McKenzie Business Forum on Emerging Markets, a Chatham House Conference on Political Risk, and a financial services conference in Shanghai in late October. To date in 2006 he has been a panellist at a Foreign Policy Centre seminar in February.


Hugh holds various positions related to Asia, including Chairman of the China Association, Vice Chairman of the Great Britain China Centre, member of the Executive Committee of the CBBC and of the Committee of the 48 Group Club, and he serves on two University advisory panels, in Cambridge and Nottingham. He is married with two grown up children.


The venue:

Clare College Clare College


Clare College Small Hall

For previous event info click here

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