London to develop business hub for Chinese firms

A new business hub is to be developed in London’s Royal Docks to attract Asian and Chinese businesses seeking to establish headquarters in Europe.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has agreed a £1 billion deal with Chinese property developer Advanced Business Park (ABP) to construct a new business centre in London’s East End. The 35-acre site - currently housing empty warehouses and unused docks - will be transformed into a third business district after the City and Canary Wharf, acting as a hub for Asian firms looking to establish a presence in Europe.

Chairman of ABP, Xu Weiping, said: "This project will be hugely significant for both the Chinese and UK economies. My vision is to develop a world class international business district which will initially target Asian businesses to help them secure a destination in London."

The Royal Docks - which comprise of the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock -  are home to London City Airport, which provides excellent links to key European destinations. The new Crossrail network will also pass within close proximity of the business park, along with the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which offers quick connections to Canary Wharf.

It is thought the development will be worth £6 billion to the UK economy, generating £23 million in business rates annually. Some 600,000 square feet of office space is planned and 20,000 jobs are expected to be created.

Mr Johnson said the development will act as a beacon for eastern investors looking west, bringing with it billions of pounds of investment. He added: "For centuries the waterways of east London were the throbbing arteries of UK trade and commerce. This deal symbolises the revival of that great era, continuing the reinvention of this once maligned part of the capital into a 21st Century centre of trade and investment.”

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