Chi­nese in­vest­ment hopes af­ter del­e­ga­tion

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Enda Mullen Busi­ness Reporter enda.mullen@trin­i­tymir­

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

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