Chinese investment hopes after delegation
A VISIT by a high-powered Chinese business delegation to Coventry and Warwickshire has been hailed as a success “which could lead to future investment.”
The China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA), part of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, visited the city and the county earlier this month with 29 delegates from companies and government organisations.
The delegates were looking for opportunities to invest in or work with a range of transport engineering firms – particularly in new energy and autonomous vehicle development, universities and research institutes as well as niche vehicle manufacturers.
The visit, organised by UK Trade and Investment in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, came after the CIPA had visited Italy and Germany and was their only stop in the UK.
It came on the back of successive Chinese investment in the city.
High profile deals and partnerships include Geely’s investment in the London Taxi Company and Yongtai Group, which took over Covpress in July 2013.
In addition China Red Sun Group recently completed a £300 million investment in Cad Cam.
Since the visit it has emerged that Coventry was the sixth most successful city in the UK outside of London in 2015 in terms of attracting foreign direct investment . Speaking about the recent CIPA visit Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said the two day event had given the delegation a good impression of the area’s expertise in those sectors.
He said: “We – along with UTKI – made sure that the programme underlined the expertise which lies in these sectors in this area, ensured the delegation met relevant companies with a high level of expertise and, importantly, communicated clearly that we are keen to establish partnerships.
“These visits are always difficult to quantify in the short term but there is no doubt that it was the start of relationships which could lead to future investments.
“Companies tend to form partnerships with places which are easy to do business with – and that is what we aimed to achieve in this instance.”
The delegation visited MIRA and the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick and saw the latest developments in driverless vehicles and battery and alternative propulsion technology.
Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, added: “We will be following up contacts to ensure we continue to build the relationships which were started during the visit. Reports on the event are beginning to filter back and they are very positive, particularly from the Chinese delegates who were extremely impressed with what they saw, did and with whom they met. UKTI further commented that our model seems to be far superior than others that were presented elsewhere in Europe. Our aim now is to turn interest into investment.”
Craig Humphrey, CW Growth Hub, Jay Nagley, AIO, UKTI, Ruochen Lin, CIPA, and Jonathan Browning, CWLEP