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Chinese firm joins UK airport enterprise

By Yang Ziman | China Daily | Updated: 2013-10-14 06:51

Manchester Airports Group has announced an 800 million pound ($1.28 billion) real estate development deal with Beijing Construction Engineering Group International Co Ltd and two other companies.

The Airport City Project will see the construction of offices, hotels, warehouses and sites for advanced manufacturing and logistics covering an area of 418,000 square meters near the third-busiest airport in the United Kingdom.

The project is located in the Enterprise Zone, which the government has designated as an area for business development centering on the airport. Government sources say the international business attracted to the site will contribute 16,000 jobs in the northwest of England.

"We are delighted to confirm organizations of global standing as our joint venture partners," said Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG.

"The inclusion of BCEG is significant because we have been keen to forge greater links with the Far East and this gives us an opportunity to strengthen vital business links with China."

The two other partners are Carillion PLC, a UK architecture management company, and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the pension scheme for local authorities in the city.

The announcement was made at the Manchester China Forum, an annual event that aims to explore business opportunities between the two parties.

George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, said the project would be China's first large-scale real estate development in the UK and was evidence that China's success story was good news for the UK, rather than a threat.

BCEG, a leading construction and engineering company in China, will contribute 1.2 million pounds to infrastructure construction on the project.

"We see our involvement in Airport City as an extension of the memorandum of understanding between China and the UK, where we have been looking to explore further joint infrastructure opportunities," said Xing Yan, managing director of BCEG.

London's Argent Group PLC, a major property development company in the country, has been appointed as the development manager of the joint venture.

Manchester Airport accommodates 20 million passengers annually with flights to more than 200 global destinations.

Some 6.5 million people live in northwestern England, where Manchester is located, accounting for 11 percent of national GDP.

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