Ben Chapman has held a number of positions in the Senior Civil and Diplomatic Service. Between 1983 and 1987 he was an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Trade and Industry. In this post he was responsible for the DTI’s sponsorship (policy towards, liaison with and support) of the chemical industries in all their forms.
Between 1987 and 1990 Ben was the Commercial Counsellor at the British Embassy in Beijing. He was responsible for the United Kingdom trade, industrial and commercial policy in the People’s Republic of China, covering the North from a base in Beijing and the Southern Provinces with staff and an office in Hong Kong. During this time he acquired considerable knowledge of doing business in China and of its affairs and systems (which he has subsequently developed and maintained). Ben often acted as a Charge d’Affaires.
On returning to the UK Ben Chapman became Director Merseyside and Deputy Regional Director North West. He was the DTI representative for Merseyside and a Member of the Merseyside task force. From 1993 to 1994 he was the North West Regional Director, DTI and was the senior representative of the DTI in the Region, responsible for relations with, policy towards and financial assistance to business and commerce. He became the Director, Trade and Industry, Government Office for the North West in 1994 which included special responsibility for Cumbria.