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Birmingham ushers in the Year of the Snake

Thousands of people packed out Birmingham's Arcadian Centre today, to join in with Chinese New Year celebrations.

The event is organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee. On average, the day normally sees around 30,000 people attend the free event.

Last year's festival saw sunshine, whereas it has been a damp afternoon in Birmingham this year. Nevertheless, revellers amalgamated into one of the city's most cultural quarters to usher in the Year of the Snake.

A traditional Chinese dragon entertained the crowd this afternoon.

Micro-brewers working with universities

Small breweries have an advantage in the export market because they pay less tax Credit: ITV Central

Micro-brewers in the East Midlands are working with the University of Nottingham to develop bottled beers which can be sold to China and South East Asia.

Small breweries have an advantage in the export market because they pay less tax than larger producers. China is the world's largest beer market.


Jaguar Land Rover confirms deal with China

Jaguar Land Rover will soon start building cars in China to meet demand in its fastest-growing market. The company sold more than fifty thousand cars there this year, but heavy importation taxes make them expensive.

Soon, 100,000 cars will roll off the production line in China, but Jaguar Land Rover has always stressed this is to meet extra demand and production will not be shifted from its factories in the Midlands.

In a statement today JLR confirmed the partnership with China:

"Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile Company Ltd can confirm that the joint venture project application has been cleared by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

"Both Jaguar Land Rover and Chery welcome regulatory clearance for the equal partnership company and will confirm details of its ambitious plan for the joint venture in China at a press conference, after receipt of formal written confirmation.

"We will now follow the official process for incorporation of the JV; neither party is in a position to disclose any additional information or financial terms at this time."

– Jaguar Land Rover and Chery Automobile Company Ltd

Reports: Jaguar Land Rover's multi-billion pound Chinese venture gains approval

JLR and Chery's £1.2 billion venture has been approved Credit: PA

Reports in China suggest that West Midlands-based Jaguar Land Rover's $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) venture with Chinese automaker Chery has gained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission.

JLR, which has factories in Castle Bromwich and Solihull, and Chery will build a new plant in Changshu (100km from Shanghai) which will produce 130,000 vehicles a year.

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