Heathrow, the gateway to 'Asia Rising'

Posted On: 
11th July 2014

London's biggest airport has joined forces with Asia House to produce guides to six of the continent’s most exciting cities.

guides, created with Asia House, the centre of expertise on Asian business, policy and arts, identify Busan, South Korea; Dalian, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Medan, Indonesia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Xiamen, China as key emerging cities.

Speaking at the
Rising Cities of Asialaunch this week,
Michael Lawrence, Chief Exec of
Asia House
, said:

"In these
guideswe take a close look at a number of Asia's emerging cities.

"We list some key facts, including a key briefing on market sectors and infrastructure, but they are also a guide on what it’s like to live there."

He said
Asia House's mission is to "connect the UK and Asia, helping to increase understanding of Asian business and the culture of doing business there. We see these guides as a key part of that mission".

He added that the six cities “all have strong growth and are willing to expand".

"These are places you are well advised to get to know if you want to do business in Asia, or if you are already doing business in Asia.

"A key theme that emerges from the
guidesis being on the ground and committing long term not only to the market but also to the community. One cannot underestimate the importance of being in the country and building long-term relationships."

The six city guides follow on from last year's 'Navigating Asian markets', also produced with the support of Heathrow.

These offered business an insight into key markets with a mix of data, advice on the culture of doing business and some case studies of success stories.

Lawrence said those publications "were immensely popular. They vastly exceeded our most positive expectations with tens of thousands of copies downloaded from our website."

He added: "We are confident that
Rising Cities of Asiawill be just as keenly read and just as well regarded. We could not produce the without the very generous support of Heathrow."

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow, also spoke at this week's launch.

He said the "natural relationship between Heathrow and Asia House" is built on their shared aim of connecting Britain to growth markets around the world.

"I wish there were fantastic
guideslike this when I was starting out in business, to help me navigate my way around different cultures,” he added.

"If you want to go to any of these cities, you cannot get there directly from London and you should be able to.

"London is the best located city in the world to connect to the world. More than 95 % of global GDP is within a global flight of London. London is a world city and the only way to get direct connections to emerging markets like these is by a network airline operating out of a hub airport.

"That is the model that connects those cities to the world.

"We are losing our position as the best connected city in the world for one reason only - because of lack of capacity at Heathrow. Heathrow is a world class airport and is the best location for connecting Britain to growth. We cannot get to those markets we need to connect to without expanding Heathrow.

"Our simple point is that if we are going to win the global race for growth we have got to be better connected to those markets than the French and the Germans.

"It is a tragedy that we are giving up that advantage to the French.

"If you want to go to China there are more flights from Paris to China that there are from Heathrow or any other London airport to China. That should not happen but it has been allowed to happen because we do not have enough airport capacity."

Holland-Kaye said while it is not too late to change the situation, "once Paris establishes that lead we will never get it back".

Comments from a selection of attendees to the launch:

African New Energies (ANE)- Arielle Lowe

“Most timely and extremely important. This is the first time in history that we in the west can know in real time what is happening in Asia. “

The Energy Exchange- General Manager, Alex Tyumenin

"Quite important for us to understand where the future of the market is for us as a business."

BBC- Ian Rose

“I’m looking at researching cities of tomorrow not London's connectivity to them. It’s about what are the cities of tomorrow. Where are they?”

High Forest Capital Management- Mr Hamedi

“I think it a hugely important topic. We focus on energy and infrastructure. Cities especially in Asia are a huge destination for a lot of that capital and investment. Avery timely opportune event.”

Canadian High Commission- Aaron Rosland

"I think the event itself is exciting. Canada has an interest in Asian companies and connecting to Asia so it's really great to be here. I think it’s important for us to take a look at the rising cities in Asia."

UKTI(Head of High Value Campaigns in the Information Economy Trade Group) - Matthew Grainger

"From a UKTI perspective clearly the growth of China and that area is incredibly important to the UK hitting the 1 Trillion export target by 2020. So by drawing attention to this and being here tonight to meet stakeholders has been incredible valuable."

photograph by Miles Willis