British ambassador to China Richard Burn opening speech

Richard Burn

Minister for Trade.

Department of International Trade

Date 26.05.2018

Event: British Motorsport Festival 2018


Dear Guest of Honour, ladies and gentlemen,

Unfortunately I can’t be with you all today to celebrate the 3rd Annual British Motorsport Festival as I am in the UK.

I would though like to share my brief thoughts with you.

Great Britain is the home of many of the world’s leading car brands, many of which are here on display at this BMF, and many consider the UK to be the home of motorsport. In the UK we manufacture some 1.6m cars per year and over 70% are exported, a significant share to China. What many people don’t think about is that we also manufacture over 3m engines, many of which are exported to OEM’s. Of course the UK is also home the iconic brands of Triumph and Norton, both of which are starting to make inroads to China.

In Motorsport , the UK is already home to the majority of F1 teams and some of the world’s best known circuits like Silverstone. The UK is now the global centre of the Formula E race series which is showing pioneering technology on the track for commercial on the road applications in our cars. Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric vehicle programs are being developed in the UK, and we are working closely with Chinese counterparts to make rapid progress towards safe and environmentally friendly transport for all. Our centres of innovation are  why start up companies like NIO have design centres in the UK, whilst undertaking production in China.

The British Motorsport Festival, coming after the successful DIT Funded Motorsport Conference in October in Beijing, is a DIT supported initiative to create an experience platform for British culture, community and competition. In it’s 3rd year, the DIT view the BMF, and events like it, as key to engaging in people to people dialogue via a common interest in motorsport. This year I am delighted to see so many British brands represented, from the high volume manufacturers including JLR and MINI, to the small volume ones including Aston Martin, Lotus, McLaren and Morgan. We want to encourage more British brands to take part, not just the automotive ones but also the retail, food and beverage brands, so that we can enjoy the benefits of all our handwork and co-operation between Britain and China.

I wish you all a successful British Motorsport Festival.


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