A Chinese delegation visited Mid and East Antrim this week for a key meeting focused on strengthening business links and increasing trade between both areas.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, hosted visitors including; Mr Xinsheng Zhao, Jacques, Director of the China Jiangsu Provincial Economic and Trade Office in the UK; Mr Gao Meifeng, Mayor, Chief of the people’s government of Donghai County; and Mr Li Feng, Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Donghai Economic Development Zone.
Jiangsu is one of the leading provinces in China in terms of finance, education, technology and tourism while Donghai County is among the top 100 economic counties in China and one of the most attractive potential investment areas in China.
Mayor Lindsay Millar said: “I was delighted to welcome the delegation to Mid and East Antrim and the meeting proved extremely beneficial for both parties, ending with the signing of a friendship agreement between both areas.
“Our key strategic priority is growing the economy – with China identified as a vital partner to those investment plans, and closer ties offering huge potential for mutually beneficial business links through jobs and prosperity both here and in China.”
Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said: “We in Mid and East Antrim are committed to doing all that we can to build relationships with China and harness a relationship aimed at boosting practical and mutual benefits.
“We are capitalising on all opportunities to develop relationships with global businesses leaders and raise our profile as an attractive investment location.”
She added: “Crucial to those plans is Amplify, our economic strategy for Mid and East Antrim, which we launched earlier this year and is aimed at promoting the development of our borough right through until 2030.
“Greater collaboration with our Chinese partners is crucial to delivering on our vision.”
Chief Executive Anne Donaghy said: “We are blessed with an abundance of talent in Mid and East Antrim, and it is vital we work together to harness those skills and potential to successfully grow the local economy.
“We are keen to build and develop a relationship with China to foster partnership with regions and organisation in order to identify opportunities to; increase trade and economic activity; promote Foreign Direct Investment; increase tourism; encourage strategic investment in infrastructure; promote and generate investment in Mid and East Antrim; and establish cultural links.
“We have a number of local companies with existing links to China. We are keen to build and develop these links.”