East Anglia: Agreement with Chinese province of Jiansu on trade and cultural links is renewed

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley and Fu Ziying of the Chinese province of Jiiangsu at the si

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley and Fu Ziying of the Chinese province of Jiiangsu at the signing of the new Memorandum of Understanding between the two authorities - Credit: Archant

Essex County Council has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the province of Jiangsu in China, continuing a relationship first established in 1988.

The agreement to promote two-way exchanges in the fields of trade, investment, education and culture was signed by Fu Ziying, vice-governor of Jiangsu, and Essex County Council deputy leader Kevin Bentley.

Suffolk and Norfolk also stand to benefit from the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their respective county councils having signed an agreement with Essex last year to work together in building links with China.

Mr Bentley, who is also Essex County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, said: “This is such fantastic news for Essex and the eastern regions.

“I am delighted to have signed this MOU today on behalf of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk county councils. We have seen such fantastic results over the years from this relationship and this MOU will enable us to continue to strengthen our relationship with China and increased economic growth for the eastern regions.”

Suffolk county councillor Richard Smith, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “We have been developing our relationship with the Jiangsu region for the past two years and have forged some strong and hopefully long lasting bonds.

“We must take every opportunity to raise awareness of all that Suffolk has to offer to ensure long term prosperity for the county. We very much welcome being a part of this beneficial relationship and will look to strengthen existing links as well as developing new ones.”

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George Nobbs, Norfolk County Council’s leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “Inward Investment plays a pivotal role in Norfolk’s Economic Growth Strategy.

“During 2012/13, we have worked closely with Essex and Suffolk to increase the knowledge of Norfolk’s major assets with Jiangsu Province. We hope the MoU encourages business links of mutual benefit between the east of England and Jiangsu; and also enables Norfolk businesses to access new trade opportunities.”