Professional Opinion – Kaine Smith
The recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping reflects not just the importance of Manchester to China and the opportunity that this presents to us, but also the growing significance of Manchester on the global stage more widely.
We are accessible to the world, having the only double-runway airport outside of the congested South East, flying to more locations than any other airport in the UK.
The announcements of direct routes being introduced to both Beijing and Shanghai underline the value of Manchester as a destination and will inevitably help encourage further inward Chinese investment to the City.
As such, it is clear to me that Manchester forms the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, which is certainly a reality, even if no-one can exactly define it.
As an example, we have a strong heritage and even stronger future in Information and Communications Technology, with $1bn value local businesses such as NCC Group plc being global leaders in cyber-security.
We are also a financial centre, with Europe’s second largest private equity community and the associated accounting and legal support to handle the most complex deals.
The outward looking nature of our business community is reflected in Manchester Business School, which is the only UK business school with a presence in six global hubs, again of course including China.
Graduates from Manchester University do not have to leave the city to find the very best and most challenging jobs, not just in IT or finance but across a wide range of sectors.
When I recently visited Shanghai for Rickitt Mitchell’s international network conference the enthusiasm of the notably youthful Chinese audience of over 200 investors was clear.
I was struck by the knowledge, professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese – something I can draw parallels to via my involvement in the Future Pro-Manchester Committee and its flagship event for young professionals in our City, The Made in Manchester Awards.
— Manchester Evening NewsBack to news