North West MEP, Sajjad Karim joined civic signatories at Manchester Town Hall at a banquet luncheon in honour of President Xi Jinping visit to Manchester. Crowds of supporters gathered in Albert Sq to welcome the President.
The President's visit to the City new Chinese investment and support for projects was confirmed, highlighting the Government's commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, spearheaded by Chancellor George Osborne, a North West MP himself.
Following a visit to Manchester City Football Club, the President visited Manchester University's new Graphene Institute, which has already benefited from £23 million in European Regional Investment funds grant aid. This new product, developed in Manchester, is 200 times stronger than steel and has enormous worldwide potential. The visit co-incited with the announcement of a partnership with Chinese electronics giant Huawei, China’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, to research graphene and to accelerate the commercialisation of graphene applications.
He then attended the Civic Luncheon before going on to Airport City at Manchester Airport, which is also a site for considerable Chinese investment.
The President talked about the creation of strategic partnership between the Greater Manchester city region and Manchester’s position as the core city of the Northern Powerhouse, detailing that Manchester can become the front runner in the future relationship between the UK and China.
Commenting after the luncheon Sajjad said:
“I was delighted to be introduced to the President by the Prime Minister and to welcome him to the North West.
“The President clearly thinks that Greater Manchester should be a key region in future trading between the UK and China. This is a confirmation of the great prospects for economic growth that we now have and we must take every opportunity to further develop our trading relationships.”