Birmingham continuing to Invest in Abu Dhabi Talks

By on 03/02/2011 in News

Inward investment, equity opportunities and municipal governance advice will all be issues top of the agenda next week as a high-level delegation from Birmingham City Council visits Abu Dhabi to meet with some of the Middle East's leading political and economic figures.

Led by Council Leader, Mike Whitby, the small Birmingham team which included Mark Barrow, Strategic Director of Development, will spend three days in the Emirate attending meetings with senior representatives from some of the regions' largest sovereign wealth funds.

They will also continue talks with the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), about how Birmingham can continue to offer support in helping to set up and develop a local government structure across Abu Dhabi.

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2010, the City Council has already provided a number of consultancy services to the DMA, and will now discuss further opportunities for this work to be expanded. In particular they will be highlighting the skills available under the newly created Urban Design, a private city council owned commercial venture that could see significant revenue coming in to the city from services sold to the DMA.

Cllr Whitby, said: “For a global city like Birmingham developing commercial and cultural partnerships with the world's leading economic powers is of the utmost importance if we are to grow and prosper in the future.

“In this respect our partnership with Abu Dhabi is one of most important relationships Birmingham has cultivated in recent years, one which is strengthening by the day and is already leading directly to new opportunities emerging. We will be showcasing the aspirations we have for city owned land and helping to inject equity in to some of the development projects with planning permission that need it.

“Not only are we gaining direct access to some of the world's most sort after investors and business partners, at a very senior level, but thanks to the mutual understanding and respect which exists between people who are running large cities, we are already realising a number of commercial opportunities which bring money directly back in our local economy.”

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