After signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Essex County Council back in April, yesterday China’s biggest publishing company, Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, has opened up its UK headquarters in Basildon.
Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (London) will formally launch its digital printing plant and copyright trading business in Essex, following intensive work by Essex County Council.
Councillor Bentley commented: “I was delighted to be there to witness this historic moment. This opening comes after the intense work put in by the Essex County Council’s International Trade Team and made possible by the 24 year relationship Essex County Council forged with the Jiangsu Province. This is the beginning of a long and prosperous partnership between Phoenix and Essex.”
Phoenix Publishing and Media Group is engaged in six business sectors - publishing, book distribution, printing, hotel, real estate, and finance - and its annual sales income amounts to £1.2 billion. In China the company has 11,000 employees and 34 affiliated units. The UK Company will deal with printing, copyright trading and publishing businesses and plans to create up to eight new jobs in the county, with more expected as the company grows.
The signing of the MOU and move to the Essex follows a trade mission to China that took place at the end of March, led by Cllr Bentley, which included a visit to Phoenix Publishing’s headquarters in Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. The week-long programme was delivered in close cooperation with the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government through links created by Essex County Council 24 years ago.
Mr Chen Haiyan , the Chairman and CEO of Phoenix Publishing and Media Group said: “Phoenix Print Digital Printing business is PPMG's first step in UK. We are looking to start our publishing business in one year. And we want PPM International to be a platform for cultural exchanges. We hope we can initiate a writers exchange project with Essex in the near future”.
Councillor Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Borough Council said: "This new inward investment from China’s leading publishing company is fantastic for Basildon and the whole county. We have worked very hard to make Basildon an attractive destination for international investment and today's opening is testament to that. It also shows that working with the County Council’s international team on trade visits to China and welcoming delegations to Basildon can really pay off. We believe that the partnership with the County Council, along with their hard work, and the relationship we have built with Chinese business has helped to ensure Phoenix located in Basildon.”
Phoenix, which also has businesses in the travel and real estate sectors, is also discussing with the County Council other opportunities to bring more tourists and businesses to Essex.
Councillor Bentley said, “The County can now look forward to an increase in job opportunities and we can add another major international company to our portfolio of businesses that have chosen to locate their offices in Essex”.