Neil Blakeman

Neil Blakeman, Senior Adviser, China

Neil is a senior consultant with over 25 years’ experience of business in the UK, China, Central Europe and other emerging markets.  Neil has advised companies of all sizes and across many sectors on international strategy, business development and operations.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Neil spent over two years as the UK Government’s Director of Trade and Investment for China (Commercial Counsellor), based at the British Embassy in 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 in China.  Prior to that Neil spent over three years as the International Trade Director for UK Trade & Investment, the UK Government’s trade and investment organisation, in the South West of England, where he advised and supported companies wishing to develop international business or invest overseas.

Prior to working for the public sector, Neil had numerous senior roles in the private sector, many of them based overseas.  He was General Manager for the Tetley Group in Poland, which included co-managing a joint venture in India.  Prior to that he spent ten years with United Distillers (now called Diageo) where he held various senior positions including General Manager, Czech Republic and Slovakia; Commercial Director, La Reunion, France; and Country Manager, Middle East & Africa.  Previous responsibilities included business development roles in Turkey and projects in Mexico and the US.  Neil spent his early career in manufacturing with the T&N Group.

Neil has a first class honours degree from the University of Sheffield in business studies.  Neil speaks fluent French and some Czech, Polish and Chinese.