The Thanet District Council (TDC) delegation visit to China last week appears to have prepared the way for a significant investment and employment initiative at Manston Business Park.
Leader of the Conservative group, Cllr.Sandy Ezekiel, who with Cabinet member, Cllr. Roger Latchford, spent four days visiting companies in both Hong Kong and Beijing, commented:
“Our visit to China was exceptionally worthwhile and we have a far better understanding now of the project being proposed. The idea of Chinese companies coming to Thanet is very much a realistic prospect and it’s clear that this is a fantastic opportunity for the area and one that we will be working hard to ensure we seize.”
Cllr Ezekiel added:
“The message that we kept hearing throughout the visit, was that the Chinese, was that Thanet is exceptionally well-placed for their needs, with its location close to both London and continental Europe. "They have made it clear", said Cllr Ezekiel, "that they are keen to have a base here and that would in turn lead to a major jobs boost for the area, with many of these being recruited locally; with a knock-on effect for other businesses in the local economy.”
The TDC delegation met with the President of the China-Europe Association for Technical & Economic Cooperation and the Chairman and President of Chinamex, an outward investment company supported by the Chinese government. The latter plans to visit Thanet early next year and a planning application is expected in the coming weeks.
Ken Wills – CEO of Commercial Group Properties PLC, whose company owns part of Manston Business Park has been working in China since 1989. He made the introduction and acted as 'co-host' with Chinamex, which has a mandate from the Chinese Government to globalise Chinese businesses through its 'China Gateway' initiative.
"We are extremely pleased with the response from the Chinese businesses and the welcome that they extended to the delegation from TDC and we now have the basis of what will be a great partnership to develop the Manston Business Park as a ‘China Gateway facility bringing business from china to the UK to allow them to develop their own businesses throughout Europe.”