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UK companies networking to lure investment from China (4)

By ecily Liu and Zhang Chunyan (China Daily)

14:31, April 23, 2013

Flintshire is not alone in its endeavor to build the China link. Many British local governments have established extensive cooperation links with China, resulting from years or decades of work.

One example is Essex, a county northeast of London, which signed a friendship agreement with Jiangsu province in 1992, and has since worked with Jiangsu extensively in trade, investment, education and culture.

"When we first met to explore opportunities, we realized that the two areas have common features and aspirations. Both regions have a large port with abundant logistics facilities, and both champion the development of offshore wind technology," said Peter Manning, head of international trade at Essex County Council.

In 1994, formal trade delegation visits between the two areas began on a regular basis. In recent years, two Jiangsu companies, Jiangsu Sainty Bancom Wood and Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, established offices in Essex. Several Essex companies have also established offices in Jiangsu, Manning said.

To support businesses on the ground, the Jiangsu provincial government and Essex County Council have exchanged a member of staff to work at each other's offices.

Cooperation in cultural and educational fields has also boomed, with exchanges of students between schools. The Jiangsu provincial government also regularly sends groups - 60 Chinese teachers at a time - to Essex to teach Mandarin and learn valuable lessons about a Western education system.

Last year, Essex county council helped the Colchester Castle Museum host a temporary exhibition of Chinese artifacts belonging to Nanjing Museum, which created a significant boost for tourism in the local area.

Twinning with a Chinese province or city has become a popular method for UK local governments to quickly develop targeted links with China. Examples include Sunderland with Harbin, Sheffield with Chengdu, and Nottingham with Ningbo.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangXin、Gao Yinan)

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