Council, China Railway Zhongji Holding Group to sign MOU
An official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recognising a relationship between the Northland Regional Council and China Railway Zhongji Holding Group will be signed in Whangarei next week, Monday 10 April 2017.
Council chairman Bill Shepherd says the MOU essentially formalises an agreement to identify and develop business opportunities for the benefit of the Northland economy and its people.
He says the MOU – to be signed at the council’s headquarters on Monday 10 April – is non-binding and doesn’t identify or list specific projects of joint interest the Chinese may invest or co-invest in.
It builds on a relationship that began in June last year when the council hosted a delegation from China Railway Zhongji Holding Group and work began on what would eventually become the MOU to be signed next week.
“One of council’s roles is to advocate for economic development and attract investment and jobs into the region; the MOU makes it easier for us to do this by providing potential Chinese investors with advice about who they should be talking to when they are looking at potential developments.”
Chairman Shepherd stresses the council is not in the business of building roads, rail and other similar infrastructure itself, pointing out there are a number of other agencies and businesses at both local and national level which already do that.
“The MOU simply outlines a proposed, high-level strategic relationship between ourselves and China Railway Zhongji Holding Group and enables us to maintain a warm, strong and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Chairman Shepherd says the MOU currently has no financial implications for the council, but says the possibility it might lead to some sort of investment opportunities in future could not be ruled out.