Chinese state-owned contractor Citic has officially begun work on the new, £1.7bn business park at London’s Royal Albert Dock, next to the London City Airport.
Dignitaries from China and the UK were on hand to shovel earth to mark the beginning of a business gateway between China and the UK.
Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, international trade minister and new minister for London Greg Hands said the development, by ABP, would help the UK capital keep its status as a global hub for inward investment.
The development in former docklands will attempt to lure Chinese businesses to London.
ABP also announced it had signed an agreement with the Chinese province of Guangdong, which will establish an office at Royal Albert Dock to boost trade between the UK and China.
Guangdong Province has appointed a private Chinese enterprise, Tian’an Group, to set up a 3,000-5,000-sq-m centre to promote Chinese consumer brands not yet established in the UK.
"This is a clear vote of confidence in the UK. ABP’s £1.7bn will help to bolster trade links with China and emerging markets, cementing London’s place as a world-class business destination," the minister said, reports local newspaper The Wharf.
The aim is to create a "third business district" next to Canary Wharf and the City of London, with links between the other two bolstered by Crossrail and outward via the City Airport.
Developer ABP reserved a role for Citic in building the site in 2015.
The ground-breaking was also attended by the Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming, Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales, Docklands MP Stephen Timms, chairman and president of ABP Xu Weiping; and ABP London CEO Nancy Xu.
Mr Xu Weiping said: "Today marks an important milestone in establishing London’s next business district at Royal Albert Dock and promoting trade between London and China in post-Brexit referendum uncertainty."
image: Artist’s impression of the ABP Business Park, Royal Albert Docks
We need to start learning Chinese
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