Thursday 13 October 2016

China is eager to strike trade deals with Britain following Brexit

China Brexit

China is looking forward to do more business with post-Brexit Britain, the country's ambassador to the UK said, as he praised the City of London and Britain's financial prowess.

Britain is keen to strike more deals with China, so the warm words from Liu Xiaoming will encourage the Government in its plans to increase non-EU trade.

The ambassador also hinted that China will tie its plans for Britain to the success of the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, however, indicating that it expects good treatment in major projects, following the delays to the plant's approval over the summer.

The ambassador said China is particularly keen to use Britain's finance, education, legal and professional services industries to fund major infrastructure projects, arrange contracts and train workers as Beijing builds new ports and railways on its "belt and road" trade-boosting project.

London has already taken steps to become the second-biggest global hub for raising funds in China's currency, the renminbi, and Mr Liu indicated the country is keen for that to continue as China and its businesses seek more funds on the international markets.

Such hints are particularly valuable to the UK at a time when the City of London's future relationship with the EU is in doubt.

The praise was not all one-way, however, as Mr Liu indicated that Britain should not disappoint China on major projects if the UK wants to see more deals with the country.

"Hinkley Point… is the single largest Chinese investment in the UK, and in fact is larger than any other Chinese investment in Europe," he said.

"It is a symbol of Chinese-British co-operation moving up to the next level. We look to the smooth execution of the Hinkley Point project. We hope its implementation will benefit the people of both countries and serve as a fine example of co-operation in other fields."

The comment was particularly pointed as one of Theresa May's first actions on becoming Prime Minister in July was to withhold her approval of the project amid security concerns. She eventually gave the deal the go-ahead last month.

Meanwhile Britain's transport secretary Chris Grayling announced that the UK and China had agreed to more than double the number of flights between the countries.

Up to 200 passenger flights per week can now travel between the countries, up from 80 previously. The number of cargo-only flights will no longer be restricted.

"Strong connections with emerging markets like China are vital for us if we are to continue competing on the global economic stage," said Mr Grayling.



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