By Claire West

An exciting mix of companies, ranging from an independent music promoter to a leading global insurer, were recognised last night for their outstanding contribution to the UK-China business relationship at a ceremony attended by HRH The Duke of York.

Supported by UK Trade & Investment, the British Business Awards recognise the highest levels of achievement and commitment to trade and investment between the two countries.

Speaking from the awards ceremony in Shanghai, UK Trade & Investment Chief Executive Sir Andrew Cahn said:

“Tonight’s awards are about recognising the enormous achievements made by companies that are promoting British excellence, innovation, enterprise and endeavour in the business community across China as well as celebrating the success of Chinese companies in the UK.

“UK-China relations are growing at a rapid pace. Already this year UK exports of goods to China have increased by 45 per cent, while last year more than 74 Chinese companies invested in the UK.

“It’s companies like these, doing business on the ground, which are strengthening our business ties.”

Sir Andrew presented the award for ‘British Company of the Year’ to Lloyd’s Register, a global independent risk management and safety assurance organisation. The company has 14 offices in China and employs more than 630 people.

Tonight’s event marks the beginning of UK National Day at Shanghai Expo, a celebration of the growing partnership between the UK and China. It’s about sharing common links in areas such as culture, education, innovation and business.

British Business Awards 2010 - Winners

The Creativity Award

Split Works is a Beijing and Shanghai-based concert promotion and youth marketing agency. Founded in 2006 by Archie Hamilton and Nathaniel Davis, Split Works has produced both branded and independent live music events in Greater China and the wider Asia region. Split Works works with both Chinese and Western music artists across many genres.

The Innovation Award

Halma China - Halma's subsidiaries make innovative health and safety products and devices that protect people’s lives and improve their quality of life. Since the establishment of Halma China in 2006, more than 20 of Halma’s subsidiary companies have entered the Chinese market, along with over 130 innovative products.

The Sustainability Award

Arup has operated in China for more than 30 years and has worked on more than 500 projects, including sports venues such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium, skyscrapers, airports, bridges highways and railways. Sustainability is a key priority and Arup is pioneering the delivery of green spaces in China, whilst also helping the local community to build up social and economic sustainability.

The Financial & Professional Services Award

Sun Alliance Insurance (China) Limited actively supports the development of the Chinese insurance market and Shanghai as an international financial centre by sharing best practice. The company has introduced a range of new and innovative products in China.

The Most Promising New Business Award

Synergy Health (Suzhou) Co. Limited is a global leader in outsource sterilisation and decontamination healthcare services. Within China, the company has introduced an innovative approach of using shared cluster sterilisation units to provide services to multiple hospitals. It has established an ethylene oxide facility in Suzhou which provides services to a range of multinational medical device companies along the eastern coast of China.

The Chinese UK Alumnus of the Year Award

Alex Chen, CEO/ Vice President, Zeus Holding/ Segway (China), a University College London alumni, is the creator of a bi-lingual educational school system. The schooling system has proved to be successful and will lead Chen’s company to manage more than 10 leading A-level centres within China. This will help facilitate more than one thousand students to study in the UK each year, directly contributing upwards of £100 million annually to the UK economy.

Chinese Investor of the Year Award

SAIC Motor Corporation Limited is the biggest vehicle manufacturing company in China, ranking 359 in the Fortune 500 in 2009. MG Motor UK and SMTC UK, both subsidiaries of SAIC Motor operate in the West Midlands. Although autonomous UK companies, they operate cooperatively to optimise the efficiency of the activities for SAIC Motor and for the UK engineering infrastructure within which they work. As of now, SAIC MOTOR has made an accumulative capital investment over £45 million in these two companies and employs around 400 people in the UK.

British Company of the Year Award

Lloyd’s Register provides independent assurance to companies worldwide operating high-risk, capital-intensive assets in the energy and transportation sectors. In China, it currently employs over 630 staff in 14 offices. Marine is the firm’s core business. In China, this primarily includes shipbuilding, repair and manufacture of components and materials.