Interview: Britain, China enjoy opportunities to further boost trade, investment: British minister

08:25, April 27, 2011      

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The Britain-China trade and investment relationship is probably in its best phase in history, and both sides enjoy good opportunities to further improve it, British trade and investment minister Lord Stephen Green said.

The minister just finished an official visit to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chongqing and Hong Kong.

As a former chairman of HSBC Bank who lived in China for many years, Green, in a recent interview with Xinhua, said the trip was as enjoyable as his previous ones.

"The Chinese market is large and fast growing, becoming more and more broader with more and more growth in consumer demand. It is in the interest of the two nations for British businesses to become more engaged as they do have real value to offer in the Chinese market," Green said.

"Britain is particularly strong in sectors of creative industry, financial services, advanced engineering, information and communications technology, specialist high-tech manufacturing, low-carbon technology, design, film, architecture, etc," he said.

"Clearly China has the need to tap into these expertise so there are great opportunities in growing trade and investment relationships," he added.

He took the British pavilion at the Shanghai Expo last year as an example, saying it had a considerable impact in China, "raising the perception broadly through many people of Britain as a leading center of creative design."

When asked what China has to provide Britain, Green emphasized the various opportunities for significant investment by Chinese entities in British infrastructure.

"The British government has set out an infrastructure development map to carry forward over the next 10 years, covering economic infrastructure projects in transport, energy, water, broadband, etc."

Green said, "We are now looking for long-term investment from either state-owned enterprises or private sectors of China."

He described Britain as the world's most open inward-investment market with a favorable tax environment and a transparent and predictable regulatory environment, saying the country, although with a slow-growing economy, grows rather steadily, and therefore is attractive to investment particularly interested in long-term returns.

Commenting on the current characteristics of the China-Britain trade and investment link, Green said it isn't big enough, but is growing quickly with strong momentum.

"Last year saw a sharp growth in both British export to China and Chinese export to Britain," Green said, adding the two-way fast growth gave him confidence that the two countries will fulfill the goal of doubling bilateral trade by 2015 which was agreed during British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to China last November.

Source: Xinhua
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