Japanese to increase investment

Sir John Hall (second from left) with (left to right) Durham County Councillor Rob Yorke, Chairman of NEEC and the South Durham Enterprise Agency, Durham County Council leader Simon Henig and Masao Kumori.

Sir John Hall (second from left) with (left to right) Durham County Councillor Rob Yorke, Chairman of NEEC and the South Durham Enterprise Agency, Durham County Council leader Simon Henig and Masao Kumori.

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AN entrepreneur has welcomed a new partnership which aims to boost the local economy by increasing Japanese development in the area.

Millionaire property developer and ex-Newcastle United chairman Sir John Hall has joined forces with Durham County Council and the South Durham Enterprise Agency to form the North East Enterprise Company (NEEC).

Initially targeting the lucrative Japanese economy, the company will employ the services of respected international investment consultant Masao Kumori.

Mr Kumori has more than 20 years’ experience working with former regional development company One North East and its predecessor and was involved in every major Japanese inward regional investment project.

His role will be to locate and work with companies in Japan, helping their progress in establishing or growing business within County Durham, with spin-offs for the entire regional economy.

NEEC director Sir John, who launched the partnership at his Wynyard Hall home, in Wynyard, said: “There have been many examples of successful private/public sector initiatives in the North-East and I recall 20 years ago the success of the Northern Development Company in bringing overseas investment to this region.

“I am delighted to be part of the North East Enterprise Company, which will home in on Japan in the first instance but as it grows I can see it looking at other countries for inward investment.

“We need to show the world that we have talented and enterprising people in County Durham and the region and I would hope that other local authorities, organisations and the private sector would join this initiative.”