The Icebreaker Lecture 2016

26 August 2016

RSEA VERY SPECIAL INVITATION! Senior Phase Students would enjoy this occasion and benefit from the talk and discussion.

The Icebreaker Lecture 2016, in association with The Royal Society of Edinburgh and supported by the Scotland China Education Network, will be given by Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, The Icebreakers.

Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, has been working on China for more than 40 years, when he first took over his father's import/export business. Stephen's father was one of the original Icebreakers, who developed business in China in the 1950's, when the country was otherwise isolated from the West. Stephen himself is widely recognised as one of Britain's leading experts on China and he is highly regarded in China. The 48 Group Club continues to flourish as an independent business network committed to promoting positive links with China. As Hu Jintao, then President of the People's Republic of China, said in 2005, at the Guildhall, London, 'it is important that the business communities of our two countries continue the pioneering spirit of those who broke ice, vigorously explore new avenues and new areas for expanded economic co-operation, and work to elevate our business ties to a higher level. The Sino-British relationship has now entered a new phase of sustained development.'

Today, nearly everybody recognises the importance of China, but we still suffer too often from a lack of deep understanding and strategic thinking. This lecture represents a rare opportunity to look beyond the headlines and the soundbites and to hear a forward-looking perspective that is rooted in history.


The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ
( Telephone: 0131 240 500)

Date and Time

Thursday 15 September 2016, The Moon Festival
•    5.30 pm, Tea in the Upper Gallery
•    6.00 pm, Lecture, Questions and Answers and Discussion, in the Lecture Theatre
•    7.15 pm, Drinks in the Upper Gallery



Do we understand where China plans to go over the next 33 years?


Professor Tariq Durrani OBE FREng FRSE, Research Professor, University of Strathclyde,  Honorary Professor, University of Stirling.

Professor Durrani established the China Scotland Signal & Image Processing Research Academy (SIPRA), which is a collaboration between a group of Chinese and Scottish Universities. He has recently stepped down as Vice President International of The Royal Society of Edinburgh and he is a prominent member of the Cross-Party Group on China at the Scottish Parliament.


Keith Bennett, Deputy Chairman of the 48 Group Club, will summarise the discussion and respond to points raised.

Vote of Thanks

Eric Balish, Director, Trade and Working Capital, Barclays, Convener of the Scottish Chapter of the 48 Group Club and of the China Scotland Business Forum, will give the Vote of Thanks.


This event is free. To book a place or places, please email:

This is an important networking occasion. It would be a great help to me, in putting together the Guest List, if you would give your full name and title, and your affiliation.