Tees mayor Ben Houchen has returned from a Hong Kong business trip to promote the South Tees Development site to high-profile investors.
At the event, mayor Houchen promoted the investment opportunities of the 4,500-acre South Tees Development Corporation site launched last year by the Prime Minister.
Once fully developed, the area is expected to create 20,000 skilled jobs and contribute an extra £1 billion per annum to the economy.
The mayor accompanied International Trade Secretary Liam Fox MP and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP on the trip, which was organised and funded privately by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
It aims to raise global awareness of the North’s expertise in advanced manufacturing, energy, digital and health innovation.
Mr Houchen said: “If we don’t shout about our area, nobody else will.
“My priority is getting job opportunities on the Development Corporation as soon as possible – we have waited long enough.
“In order to speed this up, investors around the world need to know about this enormous 4,500-acre area.”
Areas of discussion included how the North can lead the world on embracing the next Industrial Revolution by embedding technology in everything we do.
Also at the meeting were design and engineering firm Arcadis, accountancy firm Grant Thornton, Durham University, not-for-profit health social enterprise Nine Health CIC and management consultants BCG Hong Kong.
Jake Berry MP said: “Leading the UK in pioneering research and development, digital technology, science, engineering and business growth, the Northern Powerhouse offers unrivalled investment opportunities and is recognised across the world as a great place to do business with.
“I am delighted to be here in Hong Kong with Mayor Ben Houchen and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership as we look to forge long-lasting connections with international partners here and discuss the exciting opportunities for our region.”
Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director Henri Murison said: “The synergies between the Northern Powerhouse and the One Belt, One Road initiative in China are striking, and this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the North to a wide and engaged audience.
“Demonstrating how the Northern Powerhouse can compete on a global stage is a key priority of ours, and investment in appropriate areas can create better, more fulfilled lives for our families.”