Manchester turns to the east for sustained economic growthApril 19, 2013
From an article in China Daily USA 19th April 2013:
“The city of Manchester is geared up to accelerate trade and investment relationships with China, with the launch of its regional working group Manchester-China Forum later this month.
“Different from Britain’s public sector trade and investment groups at both national and local levels, this forum is primarily private-sector funded, with a goal to provide services sharply catered toward the needs of local businesses.
“While the central government agency UK Trade and Investment has more resources to the Chinese market, it is also focused on the UK as a whole. But Manchester business leaders felt the need for local businesses to receive more focused help.
“The Manchester-China Forum reflects a growing trend of regional business communities and governments in Europe increasingly keen to strengthen relationships with China, as they realize that central government efforts often benefit capital cities disproportionately.
“To fight for its share of the China growth, Manchester local government commissioned Lord Nat Wei, a member of the House of Lords, to write a report on how Manchester can best engage with China.
“The Wei Report, published last year, suggested some approaches including the establishment of a Manchester-China Forum. The local government considered it a good idea.
“The forum will host regular activities to help member businesses share information and knowledge, including seminars, meet-the-buyer events, and other networking opportunities.
“Meanwhile, Lord Wei will continue to work as the non-executive director of the forum. He is currently in China, speaking to a number of Chinese local governments with the hope that they could help to link up the forum with businesses in their cities.
“Lord Wei’s current work in China is focused on the Pearl River and the Yangtze River Delta regions, because extensive research by the Wei Report found that entrepreneurs in these regions have a relatively high recognition of Manchester. In addition, these regions have great growth potential in themselves, the report says.”