A New Horizon – Manchester/Beijing Connectivity

Steer Davies Gleave jointly with SDG Economic Development hosted yet another successful Movement Matters event in Manchester focused on international connectivity for the North of England.

International connectivity, and the trade, investment and innovation it enables, is key to the economic performance of cities and their regions. The greater the global connectivity between cities, the stronger the potential for enhanced wealth creation and economic growth in them. This international connectivity must, however, be combined with right enablers of economic growth locally (skills, innovation systems, functional land and the property markets) and a quality local transport infrastructure.

Mark Matthews, Associate, SDG Economic Development, chaired the panel and was joined by Adam Jupp, Head of External Affairs, Manchester Airports Group; Fiona Tuck, Associate, SDG Economic Development; Richard Cotton, Head of Student Recruitment, University of Manchester; Peter Chi, Finance Director, BCEGI Construction (UK); and Rhys Whalley, Executive Director, Manchester China Forum.

These speakers gave insights on how the recently introduced direct Manchester-Beijing flight route is acting as a catalyst for growth and resilience in a global connectivity context. The session explored the impacts of this new service for Greater Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse in general, and how to maximise these impacts over future years. This discussion was followed by a Q&A with the audience.

First to speak was Adam Jupp, Head of External Affairs, Manchester Airports Group, offering his perspective on the development of the Manchester-China relationship since former Chancellor George Osborne launched the Manchester China Forum in April 2013.

Movement Matters Manchester

Movement Matters Manchester

Fiona Tuck, Associate, SDG Economic Development, presented next. Fiona has been working with the Manchester China Forum and Manchester Airports Group on SDG Economic Development’s emerging report, which assesses the wider economic impacts of direct flights between the two cities one year from its launch.

Richard Cotton, Head of Student Recruitment, University of Manchester discussed then the importance of the China link to the University, and its ability to attract high numbers of both students and staff from China to its campuses.

Peter Chi, Finance Director, BCEGI Construction (UK) Ltd, spoke next about the impact of direct flights on the property market.

In summing up the presentations, Rhys Whalley, Executive Director, Manchester China Forum spoke of how Manchester was proving itself to be a city of collaboration thanks to the combined efforts of the public and private sectors.

The Q&A after the presentations focused on the lessons to be learned from each other, how to widen the breadth of the relationship by means such us retention of graduates and securing further Chinese investment, and what measures could be taken to develop further the relationship between China and the Northern Powerhouse.


A more detailed summary of the presentations and images of the event are available.

If you are interested in attending one of our future Movement Matters sessions, please visit www.movementmatters-sdg.com for more details. If you want to find out more about our Economic Development practice, SDG Economic Development, please visit www.sdged.com


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