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24 SEPTEMBER 2018
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Manchester Airport is helping the North of England to reap major rewards from its ever-stronger ties with China, driven by two years of direct flights between the city and Beijing, according to research released last week.
It says levels of growth in trade, tourism and knowledge exchange between the North and the Far East are outstripping national averages, with Chinese companies increasing their investments following president Xi Jinping’s visit nearly three years ago.
This “golden era” of relations between the North and China was revealed in an independent study launched at the British Embassy in Beijing by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
“The China Dividend: Two Years In” tracked economic, social and cultural results felt across the North in the two years since direct flights began. Findings include a 38% increase in the number of Chinese visitors since 2016. The UK average is 30%.
The report also shows Manchester – Beijing has grown faster than any other UK-China route in operation for more than 12 months, while export values from Manchester Airport to China grew 41% to £1.29bn while national values fell 30%.
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