Plans for record investment into the Northern Powerhouse will take a big step forward as the Chancellor, George Osborne, is set to use a week-long tour to showcase the best the North has to offer to Chinese investors.
The Chancellor is to set out plans to foster a new era in UK-China relations as he launches a concerted bid to deepen ties with the world’s second largest economy.
Starting this weekend, his tour will encompass thousands of miles across China and comes after a period of turbulence in Asian stock markets. And he is taking the Northern Powerhouse with him.
A top tier business and Ministerial delegation will travel throughout China making stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu with a heavy emphasis on investment into the North of England.
Lord O’Neill, the Commercial Secretary at the Treasury will be part of the delegation with the Manchester native, who is responsible for pushing forward plans to build the Northern Powerhouse, leading a raft of leaders from Northern businesses such as Annie Barr Associates and Liverpool Health Partners on the tour.
Also on the trip are civic leaders from across the North. Attending, are Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, leader of Sheffield City Council Julie Dore, leader of Trafford Council Sean Anstee, Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake, CEO of Sheffield City Council John Mothersole and Leader of Cheshire East Council Michael Jones.
The Chancellor will use his trip to encourage Chinese companies to come forward and support a huge pipeline of exciting new projects in the North, further strengthening the links with our important Northern cities.
With China’s rapid urbanisation, there is also real scope for the great cities of the Northern Powerhouse to learn from developing city clusters in China such as Chengdu and Chongqing.
Ahead of the visit, the Chancellor today (Friday 18 September) met Vice Premier Liu Yandong in Downing Street.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
Step by step the Northern Powerhouse is becoming a reality, bringing with it a unique chance for Chinese companies to match our ambition by investing in the huge opportunities there are right across the North.
Forward thinking Chinese investors are already choosing to make investments in the Northern Powerhouse, with many already happening including the hugely ambitious work at Manchester Airport.
With global investment an important catalyst to grow and create jobs across the North we must ensure that the world knows the North is open for business.
Already companies all over the world are endorsing their support for the North, with Nissan recently committing £100 million investment to build the next phase of its Nissan Juke in Sunderland, securing 34,000 jobs across the UK.
In addition, Enterprise Zones are already attracting significant foreign investment, with China providing over a third of the total investment for Enterprise Zones from the private sector.
The Chancellor will also be joined on the trip by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Communities Secretary Greg Clark, Minister for Small Business Anna Soubry and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin.
The remaining delegation includes business leaders from across the UK.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord O’Neill said:
Our commitment to build a Northern Powerhouse is clear, but this trip is set to highlight our plans for growth on a global scale, by showcasing to Chinese investors the many exciting opportunities in the North.
That is why we are taking local business and civic leaders with us who are a great example of the momentum behind the Northern Powerhouse, a crucial part of our plans to build a more balanced economy.