Long reads etc

Lord Wei speaks on civilian use of drones

On September 8th, Lord Wei spoke in the House of Lords on the Report of the European Union Committee on Civilian Use of Drones in the EU. He commended the proportionate recommendations put forward and focused his remarks on the challenge highlighted by the report regarding the need to balance and recognise rapid innovation, alongside mitigating risks associated with both commercial and leisure use of drones and the development of a regulatory framework that works and is cost-effective but does not become obsolete before it has been enshrined in legislation and regulation. He felt that a blanket legislative as it ...

EU Sub-Committee takes evidence on roaming charges

The Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, Michael Lillis, Private Secretary to Ed Vaizey, and Rick Holyomes, Department for Culture, Media and Sport appeared as witnesses before the Select Committee on European Union Internal Market Inquiry on Roaming Charges on September 7th 2015. Lord Wei asked about the fairness of disruptive communication services such as Skype and WhatsApp which use telecoms infrastructure but do not contribute towards the maintenance of the infrastructure. Ed Vaizey responded that they have looked at these issues in detail. A lot of these over-the-top providers make their own ...

EU Internal Market Sub-Committee looks at civil use of drones

Lord Wei sits on the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee. At a meeting on 6th July 2015, the Committee looked at the Government response to the Civil Use of Drones in the EU. It made a number of comments: It welcomed the Government’s continuing commitment to actively contribute to the development of harmonised safety rules and light regulation for civil drones across the EU. It asked for more information on making SME participation in EU consultation easier and the governance structure to ensure legislation is drafted in good time. It recommended that national aviation authorities, such as the Civil Aviation Authority ...

James Higa addresses APPGs for East Asian Business and Japan

On January 15th, Lord Wei was delighted to host Mr James Higa who spoke to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for East Asian Business in conjunction with the APPG for Japan. Mr Higa, a second generation Japanese-American, who was born in the US and grew up in Japan and previously reported directly to Steve Jobs in the Office of the CEO, Apple. During his long career at Apple and NeXT that spanned nearly three decades, Mr Higa was instrumental in developing industry firsts. Among his most significant contributions to the global IT industry that we now enjoy include his involvement in the development of major milestones ...

Lord Wei speaks on House of Lords reduction

Lord Wei spoke in a debate on Tuesday 6th January on the topic of a reduction in representatives of the House of Lords. He observed that in his experience, the primary function of the House is that of a revising Chamber—a place in which to amend and suggest improvements to laws produced by elected representatives in the House of Commons, whose primacy over the House of Lords is enshrined in conventions. He felt the House functioned, in modern terms, as a kind of human Wikipedia for the laws of this country, suggesting changes and improvements to legislation that may, for whatever reason, have been created ...

China-Britain Business Council addresses APPG East Asia Business event

Lord Wei, in his capacity as Chair of the APPG for East Asian Business, hosted a reception in Parliament focused on China business opportunities on Deecember 8th. The reception was addressed by The China Britain Business Council’s CEO, Stephen Phillips. He stressed that China should not be seen as one market. There are growing opportunities at the granular level of individual cities and sectors. There is also a growing sophistication in the Chinese market. The UK now receives the largest amount of Chinese investment in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. The UK is attractive both as a destination in itself and as ...

Lord Wei addresses House on Soft Power and Conflict Prevention

Lord Wei spoke in a debate on Friday 5th December on the topic of Soft Power and Conflict Resolution. In summary, he reflected on the place of trade as a means of influence. Soft power is often thought of in terms of non-profit, diplomatic and associational activity. However, commercial and cultural initiatives have criss-crossed the world over the centuries and have enabled countries and cultures to communicate and connect across language and other barriers. For example, the European initiatives emanating from the courts of kings and nobles in France, Italy and beyond, find their expression still today in the luxury wares and fashions that ...

Leeds – East Asia Business Investment Summit

Lord Wei, in his role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for East Asian Business, helped lead a Leeds – East Asian Business Investors Summit on December 1st in Parliament. The event heard from Liam Byrne MP, co-vice chairman of the APPG, Hilary Benn MP for Leeds Central, Fabian Hamilton MP for Leeds North East, Rachel Reeves MP for Leeds West, Eric Hawthorn, LEP Board Member and Managing Director, Radio Design Ltd, Kersten England, Chief Executive, City of York Council, Lurene Joseph, Chief Executive, Leeds and Partners and Carol Yan, General Manager, Power Link Machine (UK) Co., Ltd, an inward investment by a Chinese company ...

Manchester – East Asia Business Investment Summit

In his role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for East Asian Business, Lord Wei helped lead a Manchester – East Asian Business Investors Summit on November 17th in Parliament. The event heard from Liam Byrne MP, co-vice chairman of the APPG, Lucy Powell MP for Manchester Central, Mike Kane MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Mike Emmerich, Chief Economic Adviser to Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Tim Newns, Chief Executive MIDAS, Clive Memmott, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Lau Yew Cheong, Executive Director, Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) and Hazel Blears MP Salford and Eccles The event was held to encourage further direct ...

Technological progress has meant jobs have been adjusting over the past 50 years – and things are about to accelerate

Followers of my tweets might notice that I’m a great fan of new technologies and what benefits they can bring to society. For several years, we’ve been entering a new phase of applied technology brought about by various strands converging e.g. GPS, mapping, internet and sensors help create the basis for driverless cars. What does this mean for future jobs? A 2013 paper¹ by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, of the University of Oxford, argues that jobs are at high risk of being automated in 47% of the occupational categories into which work is customarily sorted. That includes accountancy, legal ...