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Letter: We Have More to Offer Dongying Than Housing

Published on: 10 Oct, 2017
Updated on: 10 Oct, 2017

From Paul Bishop

In response to: Letter: The Council Should Tell the Chinese Investment in Guildford Property is Not Wanted

There is something we can offer Dongying. We can offer them some significant industry-leading technical knowledge.

Many of the businesses in and around Guildford have some key technologies that areas like Dongying would love to be able to access and use. The great thing about China is they have space, money and ambition.

But, we have the knowledge and experience they need to make this a success. Dupont has a huge factory in the Dongying, but products made there are developed in labs all around the world, these labs are driven by significant investment due to the large Chinese factories.

This is the kind of investment we need. Technology centres focussed around the university, linked closely to manufacturing plants in Dongying would do wonders for our local economy. The research park is a great start for this, but it is lacking in outward investment.

Brexit will continue to make attracting investment locally more difficult, however, there are many companies in the US, China and across the globe that would love to engage with our local businesses. The only way to do this is to get out into the world and make it happen.

People need to take the tin foil hats off, Guildford has a lot more to offer somewhere like Dongying than simply housing. The fact people can’t see that means they are either completely naive to the talent and knowledge developed in this borough, which is very sad, or they are so caught up in their personal agendas and are blind to the bigger picture.

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Responses to Letter: We Have More to Offer Dongying Than Housing

  1. George Dokimakis Reply

    October 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Unfortunately, China has a long history of ignoring copyrighted knowledge, abusing technical knowledge developed elsewhere to provide a competitive advantage to Chinese companies.

    These companies end up developing cutting-edge technology without investing the millions required to develop them in the first place.

    Any such interactions should be treated with great care. There is a long list of companies that went bust because their IP [intellectual property] was stolen.

    We do not need any Guildford companies to be added to this list.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    October 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Is this a similar attitude to that which allowed the aviation industry to give our jet engine technology to Russia during the mid to late ’40s?

    Never underestimate the ability of other countries to reverse engineer products as well as ignoring copyrights.

  3. Valerie Thompson Reply

    October 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    What, exactly, should we be offering China?

    Surely we have little in common with people with such different mores to our own.

    I think Guildford has enough problems to deal with as it is without getting into bed with the Chinese. Or does GBC think that cosying up to the university will bring in more money into its coffers?

  4. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    October 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Sadly the western world has moved most of its manufacturing to India and China. We think as we have the design and technical know-how this is safe to do. It is not.

    Firstly, clients are not happy receiving goods for which they pay a premium as western to find made in China.

    Secondly, it does not take the Chinese or Indians long to quickly grasp the technology and leap ahead of the west.

    Not long ago we sat back as the UK exported power stations to China. Now we go cap in hand for them to build nuclear plants in the UK!

  5. Paul Bishop Reply

    October 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Mr Dokimakis has a very outdated view of China.

    I agree, there used to be a significant amount of idea stealing from Europe. But in recent years the tide has changed, China is becoming a technical leader in many fields and is benefitting many European countries through two-way agreements.

    Within the automotive industry, Geely has provided much-needed funds to the London Taxi Company (LTC), Volvo and now Lotus. This has resulted in some great success to date for LTC and Volvo and is something I expect to save Lotus in the long term.

    You can find successes like this across industries. On the very day where Guildford jobs are being lost at heavyweight firms like BAE Systems, we need to be proactive in diversifying our partners. We shouldn’t be afraid.

    • George Dokimakis Reply

      October 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      As a country that now relies on innovation and designing cutting-edge technology rather than manufacturing, dealing with people that have no respect for copyright is extremely dangerous.

      I would love it if my view of China was outdated but that is not the case. I deal with such instances constantly in my job as a cybersecurity consultant. There is a real and present danger for such companies.

      As a reference it would be good to read the below article:

      George Dokimakis is the chairman of Guildford Labour.

  6. Peta Malthouse Reply

    October 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I have just come across this article and responses and do not know the outcome of last night’s meeting.

    Whereas I would hope and expect the borough council to support any local business I do not think that extends to making arrangements for foreign visits. The university is a business and of course, it benefits the community. It also uses our facilities and services and to some extent, there is a balance.

    Our foreign trade relationships are conducted through our elected Parliament. Any such “trade delegation”, because that is what this is, should be suggested and approved by them. It should be paid for by them and not us through our council taxes. If our councillors can square that circle they have my blessing.

  7. Gina Redpath Reply

    October 12, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Cllr Furniss said they are taking themselves off to Dongying to show them that Guildford is “Open for Business”.

    I would ask, when wasn’t Guildford open for business?

    Guildford already has tremendous trade relationships with China we don’t need our borough councillors going over there to tell them so.

    Trouble is they have made so many promises to Mr Lu [vice-chancellor at the University of Surrey] that they cannot lose face now.

    China is a fantastic country with incredible energy, enthusiasm and a huge amount of new money.
    Unfortunately, Dongying is not the right city. Just Google it. My Chinese colleagues are quite shocked.

    PS. Whoever said foreign copyright laws were upheld in China is having a laugh. Within hours of the Power Rangers toy launch copies were on the shelves in China and DVD’s were on sale before the films have even been released. It’s a big industry.

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