Lord Jones of Birmingham has his sights set on the 2016 Olympic Games as he heads to Beijing to promote British industry.
The peer, a Trade Minister in Gordon Brown’s Government, is to host a series of seminars and business breakfasts in the British embassy.
But as well as highlighting the role of Britain in making the 2008 games a success, and promoting the 2012 event in London, he will also be drumming up business for the Games four years after that.
Representatives of the four cities battling to become the next Olympics host will be in Beijing to learn lessons from China’s spectacular event.
Lord Jones will urge them to consider the benefits of working with British-based firms such as Arup, the designers behind Beijing’s 91,000-seater “birds nest” stadium.
He will also highlight the potential benefits of working with the UK on anything from supplying medals to distributing broadcasting rights.
The aim is to reach potential Olympic hosts early and ensure Britain makes the most of any future Games.
Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro have all been shortlisted by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Doha, Prague and Baku have already been eliminated from the list of applicants.
Lord Jones, the former head of the CBI, will also promote British industry to business leaders from China and other nations, with seminars on architecture and design and branding.
UK Trade and Investment, the Government agency led by Lord Jones, is at pains to stress that the taxpayer-funded visit is part of his “day job” promoting British industry across the globe.