At a time when 239,000 people are out of work in the region a tale of 200 jobs being created at a light manufacturer may appear to be far from a game-changer.
But news that one of the world’s biggest lighting companies plans to create 200 jobs in Birmingham shows that progress is being made by the city in perhaps the most important race on the planet – the race for China’s billions.
After years of reporting on Midland engineering firms setting up plants in the Far East, today there is the novelty of a Chinese manufacturer investing in the city.
With more than 5,000 miles separating Beijing and Birmingham, NVC wasn’t short of alternatives – but a history of innovation and engineering tipped the balance.
In the modern business world, an international reputation for quality is Birmingham’s biggest asset, and perhaps this is evidence that that message is getting through.
We’d all prefer to see jobs being created by Midland innovation but against a backdrop of rising unemployment and slowing spending, a few friends in China might be the best ones we have.