How Manchester can benefit from inward investment from China

Turn on any news station around the world and the likelihood is you’ll see at least one news story relating in some capacity to China. Now a global economic powerhouse, the reach and involvement of the Far East nation is almost inescapable as it backs, funds and develops projects across the globe; including right here in the UK.

Manchester is one of a number of British cities taking advantage of the Chinese investment opportunities, as the two regions develop their blossoming relationship.

As Rhys Whalley, executive director of Manchester China Forum, explains: “Over the past five or six years since [we’ve] been established we’ve seen quite a significant transformation in the commercial relationship between both regions.

“Inward investment has absolutely been no exception.”

Chinese investment into Manchester has seen the construction of a number of key projects, including a £1bn transformation of the business district around the region’s airport, which Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEGI) has been involved in since 2013.

“We’ve seen a very significant growth in terms of inward investment levels from China into [the Greater Manchester] region. I would say the vast majority of those to date have been focused in and around what we would call the regeneration space; that is essential investing into bricks and mortar, major infrastructure projects across the region.

“We now have Chinese investors involved in over £6bn worth of development across the City region.”

Manchester’s skyline is changing rapidly and Chinese investment is playing a significant role in achieving it. However, the Manchester China Forum is keen to see the entire Greater Manchester region benefit from the potential success a closer partnership with China can deliver.


Rhys Whalley, executive director, Manchester China Forum on the #WeArePSE Podcast

“[The Manchester China Forum] work very closely with local authorities across the Greater Manchester region.

“Naturally, as you’d expect, different parts of Greater Manchester have different levels of exposure and engagement with China. Manchester City Council have a 33-year relationship with Wuhan, their sister city, other local authorities have more embryonic relationships.

“We are very keen at how we can continue to strength those links across the Greater Manchester family.

“Our role is to support [those local authorities], making sure we’re adding value and providing strategic guidance on what the right type of partnerships might be, whether that is commercial through to a political or cultural relationship.”

McKinsey predicts China will, by 2030, will have over 240 cities with a population of over a million people. Taking a long-term view of the growth trajectory, it shows a positive one and for Manchester to see those benefits they must seize on opportunities now – as we see with the investments into Manchester airport and its surrounding area, opening up new routes to the Far East market.

On the 4th and 5th of March in Manchester, the EvoNorth conference is uniting hundreds of chief executives, directors and senior managers from across the Northern Powerhouse responsible for the delivery of transformational public services to the millions of citizens located in the North.

Over the two days delegates get to collaborate and share best practice through a series of seminars, panel discussions, workshops and innovation hubs focusing on improved outcomes and transformational public services and get to hear from an eclectic mix of speakers and panellists including Sir Merrick Cockell from Localis and the UK Municipal Bonds Agency; Cllr James Jamieson of the LGA; Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North; Roger Marsh, Chair of NP11 and many more... 

Click here to secure your subsidised tickets to this CPD accredited event for only £89.95 each and save over £200.


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