Manchester City Council

Where next?

The monthly series of meetings around the Combined Authority are delayed a little today to allow members to attend the launch of the Manchester-China Forum. Chaired by Airport Chief Executive Charlie Cornish the Forum's objectives are to increase Greater Manchester's connectivity with China and to facilitate the business climate that enables companies in Greater Manchester to further develop relationships with China. China is already the second biggest economy in the world, and although the rate of growth has slowed there, it still won't be long before it's the biggest economy. By way of comparison, by 2020, China will probably be Germany's biggest export market. If Manchester could be involved in only a tiny sliver of that growth, the impact on our own economy would be enormous.

Later this afternoon I make a journey almost as long and as difficult, as going to China as I travel to Alderley Park, somewhere in deepest Cheshire, for the first meeting of the AstraZeneca task force, looking at potential uses for the site there when AstraZeneca transfer research functions to Cambridge. It goes without saying that the loss of a couple of thousand research jobs from the region is bad news. The task now is to, in traditional Manchester style, turn adversity into opportunity.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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