Bristol and the South West are being targeted by Chinese investors seeking overseas opportunities in response to their nation’s current economic uncertainties.
Tim Davies, Head of the Bristol office of commercial property experts Colliers International explained: "The difficulties being experienced by the Chinese economy have resulted in Chinese investors seeking new outlets, and this has led to inward investment into the UK."
"Initially this was focussed almost exclusively in London but more recently Chinese Investors have looked to the leading Regional Centres especially Bristol and the South West – as illustrated by the recent announcement that Chinese investment will be part-funding the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, near Bridgewater."
"These investors have been attracted by the fact that Bristol has a strong local economy, and by concerns that London is overheating and will provide less opportunity for growth."
The Colliers International Bristol office works closely with the West of England China bureau, which was established to build links between the South West and China, and in particular Bristol’s twin city Guangzhou in southern China.
Mr Davies explained: "There are regular Bristol trade missions to China organised by the West of England China Bureau, and these have done much to raise awareness of the many investment and trade opportunities that can be found in the West Country. In addition, Colliers International is a company with a global presence and we take a proactive role in promoting the huge potential of the West of England."
The recently-published Colliers’ Q3 2015 Capital Flows Report predicts that strong inflows of capital to Europe from domestic and international investors will result in record volumes being achieved in 2015 with these high levels of investment likely to continue into 2016.
The research goes on to identify three distinct waves of Asian investment into European real estate: Long-term players such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japanese capital; Mid-term entrants including Malaysian and Korean Pension Funds, as well as the China Sovereign Wealth Funds; and thirdly, ‘Fresh Capital’ which includes the likes of Chinese and Taiwanese insurance companies as well as more recent Thai investors and Singaporean-listed Indonesian developers.