Britain seeks stronger financial ties with China, official says

10:44, April 15, 2011      

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Britain hopes for stronger financial ties with China and invites Chinese businesses to invest in Britain's infrastructure projects, the visiting Lord Mayor of the City of London said Thursday.

The City of London's Lord Mayor Michael Bear said the financial district would share experience with China in developing a thriving financial industry to serve the domestic needs of Chinese companies and support their international expansion.

He also wants more Chinese banks to open branches in the City of London, describing the financial district as Chinese banks' "springboard to Europe."

"We have about 250 international banks in the City of London," Bear said. "There are six large Chinese banks in the City of London, and we would like more to come."

The City of London is the financial and commercial heart of Britain, as well as one of the world's top financial centers.

Bear, who is paying a 10-day visit to China, hopes to explore opportunities for Britain and China to cooperate in various areas, including finance, legal services, banking and sustainable development.

He also said Britain was looking for foreign direct investment from China for the country's infrastructure projects.

"We have infrastructure projects which we would like to attract investment from the rest of the world," Bear said. "I think it is a perfect opportunity for Chinese firms to come."

He called the two economies "natural partners," as Britain is the world's second largest services exporter, and China is the largest exporter of manufactured goods.

He said he was confident that the two countries' annual trade volume, which surpassed 50 billion U.S. dollars last year, would reach 100 billion dollars by 2015, an objective agreed upon by both sides last November.

With advantages in the technology and service industries, Britain is in a good position to work with China in its efforts to both rebalance its economy with more consumption and innovation and climb the value chain, he said.

Michael Bear is the 683rd Lord Mayor of the City of London, whose one-year term began in November 2010. The Lord Mayor acts as the ambassador for Britain-based financial services.

Source: Xinhua
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