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The Biz: CHINESE ON FAST TRACK; Liverpool may develop Formula 1 auto link.

LIVERPOOL welcomed a record number of inward investment missions from China last year. And it has emerged that links between our automotive sector and the host city of China's Formula 1 Grand Prix race circuit could be explored.

A total of 27 Chinese delegations toured the city and met business and civic chiefs, making Liverpool - which is twinned with Shanghai - one of the most popular business destinations in the UK for Chinese companies.

A key feature in the city's growing popularity with the world's most populated country is the fact that national organisation ChinaLink is based in Liverpool.

The agency, which opened in 1999, revealed that more than 250 delegates from Chinese companies and trade and investment agencies came to Liverpool last year from locations as diverse as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangdong, Harbin and Inner Mongolia.

Chinalink director Dr Kegang Wu said: ``We are overwhelmed with the strong interest of Chinese companies and governmental agencies who want to do business with UK companies and also in the UK.''

He said many of the visiting companies work in sectors that match the main industries around Merseyside, such as automotive, biotech electronics and IT, chemicals and sports and leisure and tourism.

Liverpool's sister city Shanghai sent nine business missions during the year and the former governor of Shanghai Qingpu district, Ms Y Zhong who is now responsible for the preparation of World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, sent a further delegation from Qingpu after her own visit.

Mr Jiangzhong Jin, governor of the Jiading district where Shanghai Formula 1 circuit is located, has expressed strong interest in linking UK automotive industries with his own Shanghai Auto-City, an initiative to create a city of automotive industries with facilities for R&D, training and education, testing, manufacturing, sales and F1 racing
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Feb 28, 2005
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