Lincolnshire County Council is signing a declaration of friendship and economic co-operation with a booming Chinese province – a move that promises increased prosperity for both regions.
A delegation from Hunan, one of China’s fastest-growing provinces, will be in the county today (Thursday) and tomorrow.
The visit aims to foster mutual understanding, friendship and co-operation between the two regions, with a formal declaration signed to promote common prosperity and development.
Hunan is home to more than 65million people, and its economy is worth more than £200bn per year. Traditionally a rice and cotton growing area, Hunan has been developing its machinery, steel, tobacco and food processing, and electronics sectors, as well as new creative industries, such as broadcasting and motion pictures.
Some of the sectors that are earmarked for future collaboration are agriculture, engineering, adult social care, culture and education, and, over the course of the two days, the guests will meet senior councillors and officers, visit local businesses and be given a tour of the University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering, exploring all the county has to offer in these areas.
Coun Colin Davie, executive member for economic development, said: “China has become one of the largest and most important export markets in the world, and many county firms already have ties there.
“However, we’re very keen to forge an even stronger relationship with Hunan in particular as we feel we have a lot in common.
“This visit is the first step on that journey, and will give us a firm foundation on which to develop our relationship, something that will bring significant economic benefits for both regions for many decades to come.”
Shi Shaolong from the delegation said: “We look forward to spending time in Lincolnshire and meeting local leaders and businesses. We hope the visit will bring mutual understanding and friendship between the people of China and the United Kingdom, and consolidate and develop friendly cooperation between our two regions.”
Marian Sudbury, UK trade and investment director of global investment operations, added: “UKTI is pleased to support Greater Lincolnshire in welcoming the delegation from Hunan in order to promote the opportunities for investment in this historic and vibrant region.”
MP Matt Warman said: “The delegation’s visit demonstrates that Lincolnshire is both generating international interest and attracting international investors. I am keen to do all I can to support this, and ensure that both Lincolnshire and our Chinese counterparts can secure the best deal possible.”