Prestigious visitor for shopping destination

Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward with Desiree Bollier of Bicester Village
Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward with Desiree Bollier of Bicester Village

The new UK ambassador to China has visited a major shopping destination for Chinese tourists.

On Tuesday, Bicester Village hosted a round table forum organised by the China British Business Council (CBBC) with the newly appointed HM Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Barbara Woodward CBG OBE,who succeeds Sir Sebastian Wood in the post.

After a tour of the Village, the ambassador addressed a diverse audience of local business representatives, advising them on how to work successfully with China.

Bicester Village was selected to host the round table as it is a popular destination for Chinese visitors to the UK.

From January to November last year, Chinese guests accounted for 50 per cent of tax-refunded sales – an increase of 16 per cent on the same period last year.

This Chinese New Year, Bicester Village will welcome its Chinese guests with a celebratory ‘wishing tree’, in association with bank card provider UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China UnionPay.

Guests will be invited to write their wish on a ‘lucky’ red butterfly and hang it on the tree.

Value Retail, which runs Bicester Village, opened its first shopping Village in China in May 2014 – Suzhou Village – an hour from Shanghai in historic Suzhou. The second village, Shanghai Village, is due to open in October adjacent to the Shanghai Disney Resort.

succeeding Sir Sebastian Wood. She joined the FCO in 1994 working in China, Russia, the EU, and at the UN. Her last appointment was as Director General Economic & Consular Affairs, Board of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2013.