MANCHESTER, Britain, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Lord Mayor of Manchester Eddy Newman on Friday called for further enhancing ties between China and north England under the Belt and Road Initiative which he described as a golden opportunity for Britain amid Brexit concerns.
Speaking at an open-day event for understanding Belt and Road Initiative held by the Chinese General-Consulate in Manchester, Newman said the initiative aims to boost connectivity across the regions and Greater Manchester has benefited a great deal from its cooperation with China.
Manchester, a key industrial city and transportation hub in north England, is ready to explore more opportunities under the Initiative, which will prove helpful to boost the growth of north England, especially amid uncertainties caused by Brexit.
Sun Dali, the Chinese consul-general in Manchester, said China has pledged continued efforts to reform and open up, which offers opportunities for both sides.
The consul-general called for strengthening exchanges and mutual trust between the two sides in a bid to usher in a new ea for China-Britain relations.
According to a recent report by the IPPR North think tank, Brexit will have nearly twice the impact on the economy of the north of England as it will on the south like London.
Britain's northern regions, where many industrial cities are located, are relatively more dependent on trade with the EU than the south, according to the research.
About 10.2 percent of the north's gross domestic product (GDP) is dependent on the EU, compared with 7.2 percent for inner London. The report suggests some northern regions are up to 60 percent more dependent on EU markets for their prosperity than London.