Council leader Cllr John Clancy declared ‘Birmingham is open for business’ after signing an agreement with Chinese property development company Country Garden worth up to £2 billion to the Birmingham economy.
Cllr Clancy is on a week-long trade mission to China and Hong Kong, where he is looking for big-money investors to build houses and create jobs across the city.
And the city council leader has today signed a Joint Statement of Investment Commitment with Country Garden that will initially see the Guangdong-based company:
- Explore large scale investment opportunities in Birmingham city region area with particular focus on regeneration and investment options related to the HS2 project.
- Work jointly to find areas of collaboration with regard to delivering significant new housing stock in Birmingham city and the surrounding area.
With Prime Minister Theresa May also visiting China this week for the G20 summit, the spotlight has fallen on the big potential for Chinese investment in major UK projects.
And Cllr Clancy said: “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That’s why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.
“This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham. Country Garden have a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.
“Bringing this level of investment and experience to Birmingham would be a massive economic boost to the region’s businesses, skills base and families. It’s about bringing new, big capital spend to the city, quickly. This is about building houses, jobs and futures for young Brummies and families across the region.
“Country Garden understand the demands in Birmingham and are clearly excited at the prospect of investing in our young, growing city.”
Country Garden founder and chairman Mr Yang Guoqiang said: “I have been impressed with Birmingham’s ambition and huge potential and I am delighted to announce this investment commitment to support significant housing and infrastructure development in the city.
“We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham’s ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham.”
The announcement has been welcomed by Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, who said: “Post-Brexit it’s more important than ever that our city works with global capital markets to bring in new money from large institutional investors. Bringing in £2 billion for housing and other projects will have a much larger economic impact across the region for Birmingham companies and construction supply chain. Importantly it cements a relationship with the all-important China market.”
About Country Garden
Founded in 1992, Country Garden Holdings Company (CG) Limited has been listed on the main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since April 2007 (stock code: 2007.HK).
CG are considered to be one of the leading real estate developers in East Asia with a focus on residential development and location making and they employ 70,000 people.
They were ranked the 5th largest property developer in China by sales revenue in 2015 and they quote a market capitalisation of £14.5 billion GBP as of 2015.
The company has developed over 300 high-end township developments, 54 five-star hotels (across China, Malaysia and Australia) and, to date, they’ve built and sold over 2.5 million properties.
Greater Birmingham facts
- Over 90% of the UK market is within a four hour travel time of the region.
- Europe’s largest infrastructural project, the £17 billion High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project, will bring Birmingham within 38 minutes of the capital.
- Birmingham New Street station is the busiest outside London, and the busiest interchange station in the UK, with a train leaving every 37 seconds.
- The new M54 business hub motorway junction now directly serves the Black Country’s i54 enterprise zone.
- Birmingham Airport serves 10 million people a year travelling with 50 airlines to 140 direct destinations.
- Birmingham has the highest quality of life of any English city outside of London (Mercer 2016) .
- 90 million visitors were attracted to Greater Birmingham in 2015.
- In 2014/15, 86 foreign direct investment (fdi) projects were attracted to Greater Birmingham.
- Exports from the wider West Midlands region are the third highest in the country.
- Birmingham is number one in the uk for real estate investment prospects, and sixth in Europe (Urban Land Institute/PWC).
- Major employers investing in the region include HSBC, Jaguar Land Rover, MG Motors, Changan, Genting UK, Hydraforce, Extraenergy and Deutsche Bank.
- The region is capitalising on HS2. The Midlands HS2 growth strategy will deliver £14 billion GVA.
- Solihull was voted as having the highest quality of life in England (uSwitch quality of life index, 2015).
- Birmingham is the most popular conference and event destination in the UK outside London (BMEIS 2015/2016) .
- Birmingham is the most popular destination for Londoners relocating from the capital (ONS 2014) .
- Average house price of £121,672 compared to London’s £503,431 (Land Registry of England & Wales, 2015) .
- There are six world-class universities in Greater Birmingham, producing 32,000 graduates every year.
- Birmingham is the youngest major city in Europe, with under 25’s accounting for nearly 40% of its population.