A CONFERENCE is to explore links that could lead to millions of pounds being invested into the local area from China.

The China: Embracing Innovation 2018 Conference will feature high-level speakers looking to forge relationships and unlock investment.

Dorset resident Professor Richard Li-Hua, who will speak at the event, said it aimed to encourage “high level dialogue between the UK and China”.

The conference, at Bournemouth’s Hilton on Wednesday, August 29, will be introduced by Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns. It has been sponsored by Bournemouth council and is supported by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“It’s particularly related to the local economy –tourism, trade and technology and joint venture investment in the region of Bournemouth,” said Prof Li-Hua.

He pointed to China’s “opening up” to international trade since 1978.

“That 40 years has enabled China to become the second largest economy in the world,” he said.

“What has enabled China is important for other parts of the world.

“I’ve lived for 20 years in the UK. I feel the frustration here in the west. For example, we need to upgrade our infrastructure and build a strong economy – railway, airports, hotels and so many things,” he added.

Prof Li-Hua will speak at the event about the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s development strategy which envisages billions of dollars being invested in infrastructure projects in Asia and Europe.

“In the next three to five years’ time, there will be 500 billion US dollars along the Belt and Road,” he said.

“This conference is a strategic dialogue between politicians, economics, entrepreneurs in the Bournemouth region, between China and the UK. This is the right time and place to have a conference focused on innovation and investment.”

Speakers from China are due to include Haoliang Xu of the United Nations Development Programme, Professor Kong of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee Department of External Relations, Professor Gao Xudong of Tsinghua University and Lydia Xinyun Jiang, president of the Chinese Qipao Society.

Local speakers will talk about digital and ecommerce, exploring China as a new market, protecting intellectual property and logistics and supply chains.

There will be workshops to share experiences and learn more about doing business in China.

The conference will be free, subject to a £15 booking fee, and details are at China2018.uk