Developer ABP has signed an agreement which will see a Chinese province setting up a major base at Royal Albert Dock to boost trade between the UK and China.
Under the agreement, Guangdong Province has appointed a private Chinese enterprise, Tian’an Group, to set up a massive 3,000 to 5,000 sq metre centre to raise awareness of consumer brands not yet established in the UK and to find local suppliers and businesses to trade with.
The Chinese see Royal Albert Dock as the ideal location for trading between Asia and Europe. Tian’ An said they undertook comprehensive and comparative research on London’s commercial real estate market before deciding to locate on the east London site because of its advantages in transportation and ABP’s concept of creating a platform for enterprises from Asia and Europe.
The move is seen as a further demonstration of China’s determination to help its enterprises to globalise and indicates that the UK is considered a strong market despite Brexit.
Party Secretary of Guangdong Province, Hu Chunhua, Chinese Ambassador in the UK Liu Xiaoming, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council Lord Sassoon witnessed the signing of the between ABP and Tian’an.
John Miu, Chief Representative (UK) of ABP International Alliance said, “ABP is committed to build a bridge between Guangdong and the UK in both political and business sector. I’m delighted we are able to assist the enterprises from Guangdong to land in the UK and to invest in London. I look forward to continue promoting the win-win cooperation in the backdrop of China-UK Golden Era and the Belt and Road initiative.”
There is increasing interest in the ABP development from China and earlier this month a business seminar was held at Royal Albert Dock and attended by more than 70 London based enterprises along with more than 40 business leaders who had travelled from China.
The seminar was organised in conjunction with the Guangzhou Economic and Trade Mission and included companies from a wide range of sectors including biomedical, advanced manufacturing, real estate development, infrastructure, education met with more than 70 UK companies from sectors including bio-science, morn logistics, alternative energy, engineering design and arts and culture.
Chen Jie, the Director General of Guangzhou Municipal Commission of Commerce said, “We encourage enterprises in Guangzhou and London to engage two-way investment and trade in more fields and at a higher level. We are willing to promote cooperation with governmental departments, chambers of commerce, associations and agencies of London, and establish the exchange mechanism and cooperation platforms, to help enterprises get familiar with the market and policies of the other party. In the background of building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st Century and ushering in “a golden decade” in Sino-British relations, let’s join hands and write a new chapter of win-win cooperation between Guangzhou and London.”
Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province with its geographical advantage of neighbouring Hong Kong makes the city a front of China’s reform and opening-up and attracting hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations to invest and to develop in Guangzhou. Over the years, economic and trade exchanges between Guangzhou and the UK have been fairly close. In 2016, the total import and export between Guangzhou and UK hit RMB16.38 billion, or US$2.48 billion, only second to Germany in European countries, up 7.7% year-on-year. And the UK’s direct investment in Guangzhou hit $120 million while Guangzhou’s investment in the UK reached $250 million.
Located in East London, Royal Albert Dock is in the heart of the regeneration and the economic development of London. The 1.7bn pounds commercial property project will complete its first phase in early 2019. As the third financial and business centre, it is the ideal destination for Chinese companies to set up their UK representative offices and to manage export business to the UK and Europe, which is supported by UK central government and London Mayor Office.
During the historic state visit to the UK in 2015, President Xi of China alongside the former Prime Minster David Cameron witnessed the signing ceremony between ABP and CITIC with CITIC as the investor of the project and CITIC Construction as the main contractor.
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