A KEY decision by the Chinese government has cleared the way for millions of pounds of investment to flood into Merseyside.
Officials have approved Chinese businesswoman Stella Shiu to invest in the £175m International Trade Centre (ITC) in Birkenhead docks.
The ITC is intended as the first phase of Peel Holdings’ £4.5bn Wirral Waters scheme, which itself is the sister project of the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project to regenerate the city’s docklands.
The boost for the ITC, which is a joint venture between Peel and Ms Shiu, comes as the firm and Liverpool council celebrated UK government approval for Liverpool Waters this week.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced he would not be calling a public inquiry into the 30-year skyscraper project which promises to create 20,000 jobs.
Peel’s development director Lindsey Ashworth said it was highly significant move by the Chinese government, which has to sign off investment into foreign countries in excess of $50,000.
Mr Ashworth said: “The Chinese government has approved the ITC investment. Now that we have got that approval it means we can start signing up tenants.”
That the Chinese government has not stood in the way of Ms Shui’s investment in the ITC is a positive sign that the country would sign off future investments Wirral and Liverpool Waters.
The ITC was originally intended to be the key Wirral location for events during the International Festival for Business in June and July 2014 but that now appears optimistic.
Despite highly encouraging responses from potential tenants for the ITC, the company will not start building until they are legally signed up.