Council leader Cllr John Clancy declared ‘Birmingham is open for business’ after signing an agreement with Chinese property development company Country Garden worth up to £2 billion to the Birmingham economy. Cllr Clancy is on a week-long trade mission to China and Hong Kong, where he is looking for big-money investors to build houses and create jobs across the city.
And the city council leader has signed a Joint Statement of Investment Commitment with Country Garden that will initially see the Guangdong-based company:
- Explore large scale investment opportunities in Birmingham city region area with particular focus on regeneration and investment options related to the HS2 project.
- Work jointly to find areas of collaboration with regard to delivering significant new housing stock in Birmingham city and the surrounding area.
With Prime Minister Theresa May also visiting China this week for the G20 summit, the spotlight has fallen on the big potential for Chinese investment in major UK projects.
And Cllr Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That's why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.
This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham. Country Garden have a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.
Bringing this level of investment and experience to Birmingham would be a massive economic boost to the region’s businesses, skills base and families. It’s about bringing new, big capital spend to the city, quickly. This is about building houses, jobs and futures for young Brummies and families across the region.
Country Garden understand the demands in Birmingham and are clearly excited at the prospect of investing in our young, growing city."
Country Garden founder and chair Mr Yang Guoqiang said: "I have been impressed with Birmingham's ambition and huge potential and I am delighted to announce this investment commitment to support significant housing and infrastructure development in the city.
We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham's ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham."
The announcement has been welcomed by Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, who said: "Post-Brexit it's more important than ever that our city works with global capital markets to bring in new money from large institutional investors. Bringing in £2 billion for housing and other projects will have a much larger economic impact across the region for Birmingham companies and construction supply chain. Importantly it cements a relationship with the all-important China market."