First published in the Worcester News on 07.11.2014
World Class Worcestershire
This column, written from abroad, sees me in China as part of a business delegation taking our message, ‘World Class Worcestershire’, overseas and seeking to further business relationships over here, building on those forged initially through the University of Worcester.
As I write, we are in Hezhou, where a MOU between our two cities has been signed by Councillor Simon Geraghty and the Mayor of Hezhou, witnessed by City MP, Robin Walker. The seeking out and developing of business and trade opportunities, has progressed during the past two days.
Our ‘World Class Worcestershire’ investment film and brochure, both translated into Mandarin, have each portrayed both the attractiveness of our county and the skills and products of our businesses. A number of leads in both directions have been identified and will be followed up.
By the time you are reading this, the main delegation will have moved onto Huizhou. However I will be in Jakarta, Indonesia, where I am meeting key Embassy officials and making presentations on Worcestershire’s business opportunities to audiences at both the British and the Indonesian Chambers of Commerce, and to major local government officials from two states which, like the Vale of Evesham, have an agri-tech and horticultural focus.
We had formal feedback last week from the Tour of Britain organisers who were delighted with our county’s cycling showpiece and reported back that the generated spend on the day in Worcestershire was almost £1m, nearly twice the sum forecast. Over 75,000 people at the county’s highways and byways, so well done everybody, we can now look forward to future events.
Finally, we recently signed an agreement to work more closely with Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and we are now identifying further opportunities to benefit the long term prosperity of both LEP areas and the region overall.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership