Chinese mainland business trip

Merlin Swire (centre) meets with the Taikoo Li Qiantan team.
Merlin Swire (centre) meets with the Taikoo Li Qiantan team.
While many countries around the world are still struggling to cope with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, China now has the pandemic largely under control and economic recovery has been rapid. With a new strategy of "dual circulation" – which takes the domestic market as the main economic driver, while remaining open to international trade and investment - the economy of the Chinese mainland has rebounded strongly, with year-on-year GDP growth of 18.3% experienced in the first quarter of 2021.

It was against this backdrop that Swire Pacific Chairman, Merlin Swire, kicked off an extended business trip to the mainland in late March. Over 17 days, Merlin visited nine cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Sanya and Haikou in the Hainan Free Trade Port, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as well as Chengdu and Xi’an – key cities in the west. His aim was to observe recent new developments in Swire businesses and meet with staff, as well as making a fact-finding tour of cities offering significant potential for investment, and visiting key government officials.

In Shanghai, Merlin visited Taikoo Li Qiantan, Swire Properties' new retail and lifestyle destination, located in the heart of the Pudong Qiantan International District; the complex is scheduled to open in the second half of this year. He also met with the Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, Li Qiang, who said that he hoped Swire would consider further investment in the Shanghai municipality. Merlin said that Swire has great confidence in Shanghai's future as a global financial hub, and the group will continue to increase its investment, especially in developing landmark property projects and premium healthcare services.

In Beijing, Merlin visited the site of the Phase Two extension of Swire Properties' INDIGO mixed-use development, scheduled to be completed in 2025, and of the Taikoo Li Sanlitun West shopping mall redevelopment, which will open later this year.
Merlin Swire (second from left), visits the construction site for Phase Two of Indigo in Beijing.
Merlin Swire (second from left) visits the construction site for Phase Two of INDIGO in Beijing.
During his stay in Beijing, Merlin also met with Cai Qi, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, who expressed his hopes that Swire will play a role in Beijing's future success as a leading global city. Merlin replied that Swire intended to increase investment in the city, especially in commercial and retail properties, and in talent development, and plans to deepen engagement with Beijing on multiple fronts.

The island province of Hainan has become a hot spot for domestic and foreign investment as China fast-tracks the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Port. During his visit, Merlin called on Secretary of the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee, Shen Xiaoming, and discussed opportunities for closer cooperation in the tourism, medical and healthcare, food processing, and aviation industries.

Merlin and his delegation visited Wuhan on the anniversary of the city ending its coronavirus lockdown. The group met with Ying Yong, Secretary of the CPC Hubei Provincial Committee, and took the opportunity to pay tribute to the great sacrifices made by the people of Hubei and the major contribution they made to the global fight against the epidemic. Merlin also thanked the provincial government for Hubei's rapid opening up and resumption of operations which have accelerated economic recovery.

During his stay in Wuhan, Merlin also met with Swire Coca-Cola Beverages Hubei staff and took part in an online meeting with staff from 13 other Swire Coca-Cola bottling plants across the Chinese mainland, as well as Swire Coca-Cola management based in Hong Kong and Shanghai. He expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Swire Coca-Cola team for their hard work in overcoming the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, and their efforts in ensuring a rapid resumption of production; he also presented awards to outstanding employees.
Merlin Swire (centre) attends the commissioning ceremony for Swire Coca-Cola Beverages Hubei’s PET4 production line.
Merlin Swire (centre) attends the commissioning ceremony for Swire Coca-Cola Beverages Hubei's PET4 production line.
On 21st April, Merlin officiated at a ceremony to launch Swire Coca-Cola Beverages Hubei's new sparkling beverages production line. At an investment of RMB94 million, the new PET4 production line will increase Swire Coca-Cola Hubei's production capacity by around 30%, enabling the bottler to meet the needs of customers in Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Henan and beyond, and reinforcing the plant's position as the manufacturing and data centre for Swire Coca-Cola's operations in the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

Concluding his tour, Merlin commented that: “It was a great pleasure to be able to visit the Chinese mainland again after so many months and inspiring to witness the extent of China’s economic recovery now that the pandemic is under control. All the cities that I visited were bustling and there was a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm. It was especially good to see how well our various projects are progressing and to have the opportunity to meet with so many colleagues and business partners.

“Swire is committed to increasing our investment on the Chinese mainland and one of the objectives of the trip was to meet key officials in municipal and provincial government, to discuss areas of potential co-operation. We have identified a number possibilities that we will be exploring further, and I feel very excited about future prospects for our business on the mainland”.
Board appointments

Board appointments

Senior management appointments

Senior management appointments

Chinese mainland business trip

Chinese mainland business trip

Further investment in Chinese mainland healthcare sector

Further investment in Chinese mainland healthcare sector

Swire increases stake in water-treatment services sector

Swire increases stake in water-treatment services sector

2020 Annual Results

2020 Annual Results

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