Swansea at night
Swansea's growing relationship with the economic powerhouse of China has taken another step forward.
Key senior figures from the Chinese Embassy in London were given a presentation about the city at Guildhall last week as Swansea Council continues to explore setting up trade links and attracting investment opportunities worldwide.
The presentation followed-on from a 'Team Swansea' visit to the major Chinese cities of Wuhan and Nantong late last year, where a delegation made up of representatives from the public and private sectors discussed the potential for business opportunities and joint working in sectors including manufacturing, transport, culture, sport, health, medicine, education and tourism.
Leader of the council, cllr Rob Stewart, said: "China is fast-emerging as the world's largest and most influential economy, so it makes sense that we should continue to explore the opportunities this could present for Swansea.
"As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, this is among the ways we're looking to ensure Swansea businesses and residents are well-placed to benefit from trade links and economic partnerships that could be developed with other parts of the world.
"During our presentation to officials from the Chinese Embassy, we referenced projects including the £1.3bn City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region, our major regeneration plans for the city centre and Swansea's ambition to become UK City of Culture 2021.
"These projects are among an exciting regeneration story that's about to unfold in Swansea, which we're hopeful will attract further investment and develop meaningful links with countries including China.
“This is important because stronger economic partnerships with countries of this magnitude will lead to more jobs for local people, more money in local people's pockets and more spending in local businesses."
Swansea was also showcased to some of the world's most influential property developers and investors earlier this year at MIPIM 2017 in Cannes, France. It was one of only three cities asked to present at the UK Government's pavilion there.
Other countries including Germany, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil are among those where Swansea Council is also exploring setting up new partnerships.
Cllr Stewart added: "We're not standing still in Swansea and waiting to see how the UK Government's Brexit discussions pan out. We're acting now for the benefit of local people.
"Examples of other work include our on-going discussions to see how Swansea can use the international friendships developed as one of 12 UNESCO Learning Cities to explore if they can be extended into trading and cultural links.
"We'll continue to be innovative and far-reaching as we look to benefit Swansea in the post-Brexit world."