A Letter of Intent was signed potentially leading to closer cultural ties
The foundations for closer economic and cultural links between a Chinese region and South Ayrshire are now in place. A delegation from Liaocheng City in the country's eastern Shandong Province met with business leaders to discuss potential investment opportunities, while a separate agreement was signed by the Council to explore the potential for new cultural connections.
South Ayrshire Council is committed to supporting the local economy to be the best it can be, helping local companies to thrive, while also identifying new global partners to capitalise on the available infrastructure, talent and potential opportunities. By targeting inward investment and promoting the export market the ambition is to regenerate the local economy by promoting South Ayrshire's natural and built assets, while making best of existing technical expertise and educational innovation.
A networking event at the Fairfield Hotel in Ayr let an audience of around 50 people find out about potential investment and talent opportunities in the Liaocheng area. At the event the Scotland-China Innovation and Technology Association said that Liaocheng and South Ayrshire have key similarities, with manufacturing an important area of mutual interest.
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture said the visit had sparked positive discussion about future opportunities, "We were pleased to welcome the delegation from China which outlined potential opportunities for business growth while also highlighting common ground and shared values.
"It's clear that South Ayrshire is an attractive prospect for inward investment and we will continue to work with partners from across the world to help realise new opportunities for local business while also attracting inward investment and creating jobs."
The Chinese delegation were also exploring the potential for closer cultural ties and during their visit formally signed a Letter of Intent to promote mutual understanding and friendship, marking the start of a process which could leave a lasting legacy linking the two communities.
South Ayrshire Provost, Helen Moonie said the delegation had received a warm welcome, "I was proud to welcome our guests to County Buildings for a Civic Reception, and I'm pleased to say our visitors enjoyed their time getting to know the people and places of South Ayrshire.
"During their visit we signed a new cultural agreement, marking the start of a process that will bring our two regions closer together as we learn more about our cultural differences and celebrate shared values."