China remains a key market in attracting inward investment into Greater Brighton, delegates at a spectacular New Year event have been told.

Amid colourful lion dancing and musical performances from local school children to welcome in the Chinese Year of the Pig, business leaders were given an outline of the City Region’s trade strategy.

Despite many advantages of Greater Brighton, quality of life, workforce, culture and creativity, delegates were told there was much to do to attract more Chinese investment.

Max Woodford, Brighton & Hove City Council’s Assistant Director – City Development and Regeneration, gave an overview of the Greater Brighton Inward Investment & Trade Strategy which indicates that the region is under-performing in this area and needs a more proactive approach.

However the strategy supports Greater Brighton’s potential to become one of the UK’s leading locations for investment and trade using four main themes, Connected, Open, Smart and Beautiful.

The strategy suggests Greater Brighton has high quality digital infrastructure, has thriving networks, unique research facilities and an excellent quality of life offer.

Delegates at the Chinese Educational Development Project Centre in Brighton were also invited to direct their questions to a panel of business experts that included Brighton & Hove City Council chief executive Geoff Raw; John McLean OBE, chairman of several China-based companies as well as a Vice Chairman of the Institute of Directors (IoD); Dr Aijuan Wang, Strategic Development Director of China at Mott MacDonald; and Xabi Izaguirre, Head of Planning at Oban International..

Greater Brighton Business Manager Clare Mulholland was also on hand to offer advice and information on the region. Clare said: “It was an excellent event and a good opportunity to understand the opportunities that a fantastic region like Greater Brighton has in forging links with China.”