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Clancy woos ‘serious money’ Chinese investors to fund Birmingham building boom

Clancy woos ‘serious money’ Chinese investors to fund Birmingham building boom

🕔02.Sep 2016

City council leader John Clancy is heading a week-long trade mission to China and Hong Kong.

Cllr Clancy flew out today promising to “sell Birmingham to investors with serious money who can bring economic prosperity to our city”.

The visit had been planned for later in the year but has been brought forward following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

The Birmingham council leader will be in China at the same time as Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who will be at the G20 Summit where she is expected to promise closer business and trade ties between Britain and China.

Cllr Clancy said:

Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks and I’ll be there selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.

Chinese investment will become more and more important and my job is to sell Birmingham to the people who can help bring economic prosperity to our city.

The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit. I want to make it very clear that Birmingham is open for business and, as a young and ambitious city, is the perfect place to invest.

Greater Birmingham notches up 188% increase in FDI projects since 2011. 

Cllr Clancy will meet executives from Country Garden, a property development company based in Guangdong Province, China, in an attempt to secure an investment partner for a major Birmingham house building programme.

Cllr Clancy added:

Birmingham city council was the biggest builder of homes in Birmingham last year. Through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust we built high quality homes that make a real difference to families and individuals.

Our homes are transforming lives. So, on one level I’m quite proud of the fact that we’re the biggest housebuilder in the city but I have to ask the question: is that good?

That statistic indicates to me that others are not building on the scale and at the pace that the city requires. Country Garden has a proven track record of building at pace and scale and it makes perfect sense for me to speak to them and see how they might fit into Birmingham current housing challenge.

We need to build 90,000 new homes in the next 15 years and I’ll speak to potential partners across the world to ensue Brummies and future Brummies get the quality homes they deserve.

The council leader will also meet with a Chinese company said to have a record of regeneration and development around high speed rail projects.

The firm cannot be named for commercial reasons, but Cllr Clancy hopes to secure redevelopment projects around the arrival of HS2 in Birmingham city centre.

He added:

Birmingham is an increasingly attractive place to invest. There’s absolutely no question that the arrival of HS2 really is seen as a game-changer for the future economic growth of Birmingham.

Major international businesses such as HSBC tell us they are investing in Birmingham because they can see the benefits HS2 will bring. So I’ll be promoting that message in China and Hong Kong, urging potential investors to come on board.

In Hong Kong the council leader will work with the Department for International Trade to host a Birmingham Investment Seminar, to be attended by 40-50 leaders of the Hong Kong investment community.

Cllr Clancy said:

These are people with serious money to invest and I’ll be talking to them about projects like Smithfield, the Curzon Investment Plan and Arden Cross as well as our overall housing needs and of course the potential for Brummie Bonds.

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