Areas of expertise: international business strategy; trade and investment; government relations; general management, sales and marketing; China and emerging markets.

Neil specialises in international business and has a broad range of commercial and public sector experience in the UK, China, Central Europe and other emerging markets, spanning 20 years.

In late 2006, he returned from an overseas posting as the UK Government’s Director of Trade and Investment for China, based at the British Embassy, Beijing. As the senior diplomat leading on commercial activities with the Chinese Government and Chinese companies, he developed business relations and policy, as well as promoting British and European business interests.

Prior to this Neil was International Trade Director for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI *) for the South West of England, having strategic and operational responsibility for supporting companies wishing to trade and invest overseas.

Neil has extensive experience working for international businesses, much of it based abroad. He was General Manager for the Tetley Group in Poland, which included co-managing a joint venture in India. Neil held various senior positions during his ten years with United Distillers, now part of Diageo, the leading international drinks company: General Manager, Czech Republic and Slovakia; Commercial Director, La Reunion, France; and Country Manager, Middle East & Africa. Responsibilities included managing the business in Turkey for a period, and projects in Mexico, the US and elsewhere.

After graduating with First Class Honours from the University of Sheffield in Business Studies, Neil started his career in manufacturing, with a large engineering group.

He speaks fluent French and some Czech, Polish and Chinese.

Neil is a regular speaker at events on China, its impact on globalisation and related subjects.

* UKTI is the joint Foreign Office / DTI organisation helping UK companies trade and invest internationally, and attracting overseas companies to the UK.