'˜Greater collaboration with Chinese partners could prove a game changer'

A Chinese delegation visited Mid and East Antrim this week for key discussions aimed at boosting business links and trade between both areas.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:09 pm
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Council, Cllr Lindsay Millar, at the reception with the Chinese delegation, Zhao Xingsheng, director China Jiangsu Provincial Economic & Trade Office UK, Zhang Peng, director of Bilateral Affairs/Consul and He Shuangqi, Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Belfast. Also included are chief executive Anne Donaghy and council officials.

Among the guests hosted by the Mayor, Councillor Lindsay Millar was Jacques Zhao, director Representative of China Jiangsu Provincial Economic and Trade Office in the UK, as well as members of the Chinese Consulate in Belfast.

Council’s says its key strategic priority is growing the economy with China identified as an important partner to those investment plans.

The Mayor said: “This reception was an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with vital contacts and partners.

“We in Mid and East Antrim are committed to doing all that we can to build relationships with China and harness a relationship aimed at boosting practical and mutual benefits.

“We are capitalising on all opportunities to develop relationships with Chinese businesses and other global audiences and raise our profile as an attractive investment location.

“Council’s Amplify strategy aims to boost economic growth and create jobs for the borough by establishing Mid and East Antrim as a key investment location to global audiences, this continued business engagement with China is delivering on that strategy by promoting our key priority sectors including agri-food, manufacturing, tourism and energy.

“Greater collaboration with our Chinese partners could prove a game-changer to the delivery of our vision.”

This week’s meeting was arranged after representatives from Mid and East Antrim attended the Building a Regional Partnership with China Workshop in Liverpool in June.

The event was aimed at councils and regional organisations keen to develop connections with their counterparts in China.

Councillor Audrey Wales MBE represented council at the conference along with it Investment and Place manager, Karen Hastings.

Councillor Wales said: “During my term as mayor I was delighted to welcome Chinese Consul General Madam Wang Shuying to Mid and East Antrim. Consul General Wang Shuying was impressed by the offerings in Mid and East Antrim and its incredible potential as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in.

“Council’s chief executive, Anne Donaghy, has also been in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is working to establish more council partnerships, and we look forward to continuing this exciting work.”