Rail investment opportunities in the North West were top of the agenda, as The Department for International Trade – in partnership with Alliance Manchester Business School – held the latest instalment of the UK-China Infrastructure Academy in Manchester earlier this month, part of a major initiative to further boost regional investment opportunities.
The Academy is running programmes regularly for the next two years, with closer cooperation set to bring economic growth and create even more jobs from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Capital Investment in the North West - more than 30,000 jobs have already been created in the region from FDI since 2012.
This month’s programme focused on the rail sector, and included opportunities to learn from academics from Alliance MBS, industry experts as well as about integrated transport systems at Manchester Piccadilly rail station and Manchester Airport.
A delegation of senior Chinese businesses and government officials were in attendance for the Academy, a unique platform designed to bring together UK and Chinese infrastructure capabilities and attract Chinese investment into UK infrastructure projects.
The previous programme, which took place earlier this year, focused on the energy sector and how to deliver best practices for investing in major infrastructure projects in the UK.
Delegates heard from a range of speakers including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Sir Howard Bernstein on what the Northern Powerhouse has to offer. Chinese businesses also visited Manchester City Football Academy and Drax Power Station.
Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart said:
“The UK-China Infrastructure Academy programme is incredibly important for the infrastructure sector here in Manchester and as an international economic department, we’re helping to attracting foreign investment to the Northern Powerhouse.
“China as a world leading economy and the UK’s fifth largest trading partner is an important market for British companies as we look to build independent trading relationships across the world.”
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said:
“Our support in delivering this UK-China Infrastructure Academy Programme is another significant development in building on our strong relationship with China.
“I am delighted that we are able to deliver this prestigious joint initiative between the UK and Chinese governments. Alliance Manchester Business School and the University are home to some of the leading experts on business links between our two countries and we have put together a programme for the delegates that will foster relationships, and encourage infrastructure investment.”
This comes as International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell joined the Prime Minister for a three-day visit to China at the start of February, designed to boost trade and investment after Brexit.