Liverpool city region secures place at huge 2017 Chinese trade expo

Invest Liverpool, the inward investment body representing the whole city region, will have a pavilion at the China-South Asia Expo 2017 – one of the biggest gatherings of Asian businesses ever held. Tony McDonough reports.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Wirral Council leader Phil Davies in China with officials from Kunming
Wirral Council leader Phil Davies and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson in China with officials from Kunming

Liverpool city region will get the opportunity to meet thousands of potential investors at a major Chinese expo next year.

Invest Liverpool, the inward investment body representing the whole city region, will have a pavilion at the China-South Asia Expo 2017 – one of the biggest gatherings of Asian businesses ever held.

The expo, now in its fourth year, attracts thousands of businesses from more than 30 countries and represents as a major platform for promoting Liverpool city region investment opportunities.

An Invest Liverpool delegation, jointly led by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Wirral Council leader Phil Davies, are in China now and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the expo’s host city, Kunming.

The agreement with Kunming also includes the potential for the south west Chinese city to design and install a special garden as part of Liverpool’s plans to redevelop the city’s Garden Festival site on the banks of the Mersey.

The signing of the MoU came at the start of the two-week trade delegation to China.

Companies from the marketing, property and technology sectors, as well as representatives from academia and chambers of commerce, are taking part in the visit.

The MoU will see Liverpool city region and Kunming – a city of more than 7m people – work together to improve business and cultural links in order to drive job creation and growth.

Both Liverpool and Wirral have strong existing connections with China; Wirral being twinned with Taicang and Liverpool with Shanghai.

Cllr Davies, who is the lead on economic development for the city region’s Combined Authority, said: “The new Memorandum with Kunming will see emerging opportunities for Wirral and city region businesses to connect with a flourishing region of China and we have already seen significant interest in Wirral’s strengths in such sectors as advanced manufacturing.

“This is the first time the city region has come together in this way and it’s a clear example of how we can offer a more compelling proposition as a combined region.”

Mayor Anderson added: “There are clear opportunities for Liverpool city region companies to win investment and contracts by engaging with this fast-growing area of China and the expo next year will be a great platform for businesses which want to connect with new markets in south east Asia.”

The Kunming agreement came at the start of a trip which will see the 20-strong delegation visiting six regions of China over a two week period, taking in Chonqing, also in South West China, Tianjin, Beijing, Qingdao and Shanghai.

In total, delegates will travel 15,547 miles.

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