English cities hope to woo Chinese investment

Updated 2016-10-22 09:39:38 China Daily

Business and local government delegations from the UK cities of Liverpool and Derby will fly to China this month in the hope of attracting Chinese investment.

Derby councilors will fly into Shanghai on Oct 30 and head to Hefei, one of China's fastest-growing metropolitan regions.

Council leader Ranjit Banwait is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Hefei officials to increase trade between the cities. The delegation will then pitch 12 investment opportunities to Hefei businesspeople before departing on Nov 6.

"This is a big opportunity for the city," Banwait said in a statement. "China is a superpower and we've got the opportunity to do business with them. This is our opportunity to be part of the world stage and to sit alongside the greatest cities in the world.

"We have been proactive since Brexit and now is the time to build links with the rest of the world. We need to avoid isolating ourselves."

University of Derby representatives will also visit the Chinese city, to further develop an academic collaboration previously agreed with Hefei University.

Representatives from organizations in the Liverpool region will travel to China this weekend for a multi-city tour aimed at building business links.

Heads of companies in a range of industries will participate in a two-week drive to attract investment from Tianjin and from Southwest China from Oct 22 to Oct 29. They will then head to Qingdao and Shanghai from Oct 29 until Nov 4. The second leg of their tour will include attendance at the CBBC China Outbound Conference in Shanghai on Nov 3.

"What is really important about this trip is that the city region is coming together in its efforts to build new trade links and seek inward investment," Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said in a statement. "Our relationships with Chinese businesses are flourishing and it makes absolute sense that we market the entire city region to achieve maximum impact and the best results."

The first week of their visit will focus on investment opportunities in the creative, digital/IT, healthcare, and tourism industries as well as the urban development and planning sectors. The final leg will concern shipping and logistics, manufacturing, and property development.

Liverpool and Derby are following in the footsteps of several other British cities that have sought to attract Chinese investment.

In July, Sheffield landed a 1 billion pound investment deal with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group. The Chinese manufacturing firm will invest the money during a 60-year period, spending 220 million pounds in the first three years on development projects in the city center.

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