Britain's Steel City Signs $1.3b Investment Deal With Chengdu

22 July 2016

Leaders of the Yorkshire city of Sheffield, famed for its steel industry, announced on Thursday a 60-year partnership with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, one of the largest companies in China's Sichuan province.

The city council officially announced the deal on its website Thursday following the return to the city of the council leader and deputy leader from a visit to Chengdu, Sheffield's sister city.

"We are today announcing a 60-year partnership agreement with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group worth over 1 billion pounds ($1.32 billion)," said the council in its announcement.

The first tranche of funding associated with the agreement is worth $292 million and will fund four or five Sheffield city center projects over the next three years, the council said, adding the exact projects that the investment will fund are yet to be determined.

Councilor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said it is the biggest Chinese investment deal to be made by a British city outside of London.

"This is a real partnership. The projects funded by this investment will be determined by Sheffield City Council, and the 60-year commitment secures a stream of investment into our city for the next generation, and means a whole range of projects become viable because of the long-term nature of the relationship," she said.

"We are clear that this will create hundreds, if not thousands, of additional jobs for the people of Sheffield. The investment comes from China, but the workforce on these projects will be British," said Councilor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council.

"This agreement is ground breaking. It will see the resources made available to deliver the vibrant, growing city center our city needs. This will make Sheffield even more attractive to inward investment, create jobs and enable us to compete with other big cities," he added.

Sheffield City Council has also recently signed co-operation trade agreements with Daqing, the leading center for the oil and gas industry in China, and the city of Nanchang, to boost trade between local companies in the Yorkshire city and China.


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