Council’s Chengdu business centre plan

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Entrepreneurs will be able to develop their ambitions in the Far East when a Sheffield trade and business incubator is set up in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

It is hoped the facility, in the city’s ‘High Tech Zone,’ will complement the China-UK business incubator being built in the £65m New Era development at St Mary’s Gate in Sheffield.

It means that soon both cities will have bespoke facilities to help entrepreneurs develop trade relationships.

The Chengdu incubator is being set up by Sheffield City Council with help from the authorities in China.

Meanwhile, a trade delegation to Nanchang and Jiangxi province will take place in March, with Sheffield businesses from the food and drink sector, advanced manufacturing and professional services hoping to develop deals worth millions of pounds

Following that, a delegation of 50 hi-tech businesses from Chengdu will visit Sheffield for trade and investment discussions during the summer of 2018.

A city council spokesman said the authority was exploring other trade relationships with the Chengdu government.

This year, a series of seminars have been held in Sheffield to help companies understand and gain insight about Chinese market opportunities, intellectual property rights and financing.

The spokesman added: “Sheffield is still working with the Sichuan Guodong Group on a number of projects across the city following last week’s announcement that it is unlikely to proceed with its interest in a five-star hotel at the Central Library building.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “Our inward investment teams have been working to develop our connections with China. We’ve a lot in common – shared strengths in manufacturing and industry – and ambitions to develop further. 2018 will be a year that cements our work and makes it easier for people across Sheffield to build their ambitions in the Far East.”

Civic visits from Anhui, Wuhan and Chengdu are also expected next year.