Northern Powerhouse investments and Chinese investors

A portfolio of 13 projects offering more than US$6.7 billion of opportunities to Chinese investors is driving trade between the UK and China. Billions of dollars of projects have shown that Britain is one of the best places in the world to do business. The 13 projects include MediaCityUK in Salford and the construction of the UK’s first potash mine for more than 40 years.

Chinese investors are active in the North-west, backing projects including the US$1.137 million Airport City in Manchester that is being part-funded by Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which is also acting as construction partner. Sheffield City Council also signed a US$1.34 million, 60-year partnership with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group earlier last year.

• The unveiling of a Northern Powerhouse Investment Portfolio which details 13 large-scale property and infrastructure development projects, each worth more than US$133.8 million, offering attractive investment opportunities across the North to Chinese investors. Projects include investment to help double the size of MediaCityUK in Salford (home to the BBC, ITV and more than 250 smaller creative and digital businesses); an opportunity to invest in a major regeneration project in Doncaster that will create 3,100 homes and 6,000 new jobs and a chance to invest in a Sheffield project to create a centre of innovation and over 4,000 new homes.

• News that CITIC and Chinese Developer ABP will together invest US$428 million in Phase 1 of the US$2.27 billion London Royal Albert Docks project. CITIC Construction will also establish its UK HQ at Royal Albert Dock. When complete, the project is expected to create 30,000 jobs and become a commercial hub of a comparable scale to the City of London and Canary Wharf.

• Up to US$53.5 million of investment by the UK government in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) based in Beijing, for a fund to help developing countries to prepare infrastructure programs. The UK is only the second contributor to the fund after China, which aims to accelerate much-needed development in the poorest Asian countries, and cements Britain’s reputation as China’s key partner in developing the AIIB.

• As part of the UK-China Infrastructure Alliance, a private sector UK Infrastructure Academy is being launched to help train Chinese companies and officials on investment processes in the UK. High-level Chinese delegation will arrive in the UK for training, following training on Public Private Partnerships already delivered by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority in China. This supports China in delivering high-quality projects.

According to the UK Prime Minister Britain is looking to expand trade and investment with China in the era following Brexit. China is the world’s second largest economy; UK exports to China have grown rapidly and Britain is home to more Chinese investment than any other European country. With a strong focus on infrastructure investment, trade and financial services the UK is seeking further consolidation with China businesses.

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