The study was undertaken by Steer Davies Gleave
The study was undertaken by Steer Davies Gleave
Richard Bell

New research highlights China boost for Northern Powerhouse

New research out today (November 6) has shed light on the economic benefits of improved connections between the Northern Powerhouse and China.

The study, undertaken by economic consultancy Steer Davies Gleave and titled The China Dividend: One Year On, is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis undertaken into the economic and social impact of direct long-haul flights between the two countries.

The findings suggested that in its first year, the Manchester-Beijing route operated by Chinese carrier Hainan Airways drove up exports, inward investment and Chinese visitors in the North.

The value of goods exported to China by Northern businesses via Manchester Airport rose by 265% to almost £200m per month.

Since the launch of the Beijing route, the economic contribution to the region’s visitor economy from Chinese tourists doubled to £138.68m per annum, with a further £626m forecast over the next five years.

Steer Davies Gleave’s research also found that Chinese investments in Manchester property rose year on year by 54% in 2016.

Already worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the North each year, this ‘China Dividend’ is forecast to grow even further in the years ahead, as the North’s profile in Asia increases and both civic and business ties between the region and China are strengthened.

Sun Dali, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China for the North of England, said: “The direct flight between Manchester and Beijing started at the right time and continues to increase and develop cooperation between the North of England and China.

“The direct route is a perfect example of the ‘One Belt One Road’ and Northern Powerhouse policies interconnecting.”

Sun continued: “After one year of this flight, we have seen continued growth in trade and communication between China and the North of the UK and I hope that inter-communication between the UK and China continues to encourage more cooperation between China and the North of England, and hope that more Chinese people come here to set up businesses, study, travel, and have first-hand experiences in this unique and charming part of the world.”

Manchester Airports Group CEO Charlie Cornish, chair of the Manchester China Forum, commented: “This is the clearest evidence yet of how important international connectivity is to the growth ambitions of the North and UK as a whole.

“Manchester Airport is committed to playing an active role in creating a vibrant and globally competitive Northern Powerhouse.”

Speaking further, Mr Cornish said: “We are demonstrating that through our £1bn investment to transform the airport, which will help attract more long haul services like the Hainan Airlines route to Beijing.

“One of the more important findings in this report is the significant amount of demand this route has stimulated for travel both to and from the UK and coupled with the right support from Government further direct long haul routes between the Northern Powerhouse and the world will ensure that the region can reach its full potential.”

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