City hopes to boost economy and jobs via Chinese investment

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CHINESE businesspeople were welcomed into the city yesterday as part of a drive by Portsmouth City Council to attract their investment.

A group of 20 people were shown the highlights of Portsmouth, including Guildhall Square, the Spinnaker Tower, the Historic Dockyard and seafront, before meeting the Lord Mayor David Fuller in his parlour and enjoying a meal at Noble House in Southsea.

The delegation with council leader Donna Jones

The delegation with council leader Donna Jones

The event had been organised by the council and Portsmouth Chinese Association.

Albert Choi, chairman of the association, said: ‘It is all about promoting the city and attracting more Chinese investment. But mainly to entice Chinese companies that are already in business in the UK to make Portsmouth their base.’

Council leader Donna Jones said attracting Chinese investment was a priority of the council.

She said: ‘China is a big economy, one of the largest five economies in the world.

‘The UK government has made a very clear statement that it wants to be working closer with countries around the world, particularly post- Brexit.

‘Therefore it would be remiss of us as a port city not to try and woo some of the companies that are manufacturing and exporting the highest value of components around the world.

‘It will help create jobs and put money into our economy, That’s what I am doing – selling Portsmouth the city to some of the biggest countries around the world.’

Delegates heard about the plans for improving the transport infrastructure, the aspiration to get more hotels and the rebranding of places such as the Spinnaker Tower, plus more.

Viny Poon, who runs an import and export company called KFP London, said she was impressed by what she had seen. Her company imports coffee from Malaysia, but also can help organise exports for UK firms.

She said: ‘As an import and export company, I need to know this city as it has a great port. I have come to see what the future holds for Portsmouth and to find out more about the city’s plans, plus to see if I can meet some SMEs and help them.’

Valerie Yang, who runs tourist company Octogan International Ltd, based in Godalming, said she too was impressed.

‘It is my first time in the city,’ she said.

‘But it is amazing as you have the historic connections and the seafront. I am excited about the opportunities that Portsmouth offers.’