‘City lacks Chinese investment’ claim

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Liverpool's Chinatown arch

Liverpool’s Chinatown arch

Liverpool has one of the biggest Chinese communities in the UK, but not enough is being done to attract Chinese investment, a local councillor has claimed.

Councillor Richard Kemp, leader of Liverpool City Council’s Liberal Democrat opposition group, claims the city is falling behind and might miss out on huge financial opportunity.

He told JMU Journalism:  “We have to do two things, first: create bold positive plans that China could invest in.

“Two: Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in the whole of Europe and we are not establishing contact with that community.

“It is very important that we do make contacts because they are invaluable.”

Kemp added that China is “very interested” in infrastructure and not in manufacturing because manufacturing and labour are “much cheaper in China”.

China has announced involvement in a £800million investment to improve Manchester Airport. The money will be spent on building offices, hotels and industrial facilities and create 16,000 jobs. It will also introduce direct flights from Manchester to China.

Liverpool Vision, the city’s regeneration agency, holds a record for securing Chinese investment. The city has benefited from £22.6million of Chinese investment already and £25million to fund an International Trade Centre in Wirral.

Jim Gill, the former Liverpool Vision chief executive told the Liverpool Daily Post: “Liverpool is in the market. The question is whether we have the right opportunities to interest the Chinese.”

He went on to comment on the Wirral investment, saying: “The reason nothing has happened so far is because the scheme is perhaps not quite investment-ready or as obviously attractive as a major international airport like Manchester.”

About Jade Masri, JMU Journalism