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English>>China Business

UK 'welcomes' Chinese capital

By Bao Chang  (China Daily)

15:52, November 05, 2012

The British Ambassador to China told an audience in Beijing on Friday that his government continues to welcome investment from China.

Sebastian Wood told the FT Chinese Annual Forum 2012 that the United Kingdom wants to lift its economy out of the global financial crisis by seeking investment-driven growth, rather than one led by domestic consumption.

"This strategy is the opposite to that of China, because we have spent too much," Wood said.

The comments came just 24 hours after it was revealed that China Investment Corporation, the sovereign wealth fund, had increased its investment in the infrastructure of the UK by spending 450 million pounds ($726 million) on a 10 percent stake in the company that owns London Heathrow Airport, the country's largest airport.

It was the second major investment made by CIC this year in the UK infrastructure sector, after the manager of China's $410 billion wealth fund took an 8.86 percent stake in Thames Water, the largest water and sewage company in the UK, in January - a deal considered by analysts at the time as the fund's first major share purchase in the UK.

Reporting the Heathrow deal this week, The Financial Times suggested that CIC is in talks to buy Deutsche Bank's UK headquarters for 250 million pounds.

Chinese investment in the UK has gone beyond infrastructure.

In September, Chinese telecom and computer network giant Huawei Technologies Co invested 1.3 billion pound to expand its operations in Britain over the next five years, a move which is expected to create 500 jobs.

The world's second-largest telecom equipment vendor has been a big supplier in the UK since it entered the market through a deal with British Telecommunication Plc in 2004.

Wood said that China is becoming more open to invest in technological areas overseas, adding "we welcome the investment from China".

According to the latest figures from UK Trade & Investment, which promotes UK business deals overseas, China became the third-largest investor in the UK in 2011, up from seventh the year before, thanks to the Chinese government's policy of encouraging competitive companies to expand abroad.

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