UK and China – Premier Li visits Downing Street

UK and China – Premier Li visits Downing Street

The summit takes place just 6 months after the Prime Minister’s trip to China and with bilateral trade at record levels – up by 8% overall in 2013.

The Prime Minister and Premier Li will host a lunch for businesses looking to seal more deals in both countries. The meal will be cooked by Manchester based Sweet Mandarin, who accompanied the Prime Minister on his visit to China in December 2013 and who are expanding their business there.

Expected UK-China deals

The Prime Minister will seek to secure a breakthrough in the 30 year long ban on British beef and lamb exports to China, in a deal which could be worth up to £120 million to the UK economy.

These would be the first talks on the issue since the 1980s when restrictions related to the BSE outbreak were imposed on British beef and lamb in China. It follows discussions during the Prime Minister’s visit in December on opening up the food and drink market broadly, capitalising on a $45 million export deal for pork products and expanding a market already worth more than £257 million to the UK economy.

The deal is just one of several trade and investment deals expected to be agreed today that will boost long term economic growth for both the UK and China and cement our relationship as global partners for growth, reform and innovation.

Other deals expected to be announced include:

  • Nord Engine, a Chinese financial services group, will announce that it will make up to £150 million available to invest in UK and European SMEs and open their first overseas operation in the UK later this year. They will target those SMEs that work in tech industries, with strong commercial R&D capabilities and work to help them access the China market. This will be the first Chinese institutional support for SMEs in the UK.
  • China Minsheng Investment Corporation (CMI), China’s largest private sector investment group – with capital of $8 billion – will announce that it will open its European HQ in London with an investment of around $1.5 billion. Investments will be in a range of sectors including financial services, advanced technology, offshore engineering, new energy and environmental protection.

UK businesses succeeding in China

Businesses that joined the Prime Minister on his visit in December have already seen success:

  • Buckinghamshire based Pinewood Studios has signed an agreement with Wanda to advise on the design and construction of a new film and television studio complex in Qingdao; once completed, it will be one of China’s largest film and TV studio facilities
  • London based Silvergate Media has signed a deal with CCTV to broadcast its children’s TV programmes ‘Octonauts’ and ‘Peter Rabbit’ in China
  • Nottingham based Duresta Upholstery is opening 3 new stores in China this year, with over 20 planned for 2015
  • London software company TestPlant has opened its first office in China and signed a distribution deal with Chinese technology service provider HiRain Technologies; as a result of this deal and wider opportunities, TestPlant expects its Chinese revenues to increase from several hundred thousand to £3 million over the next 3 years
  • Guildford company Modern Water has seen increased sales of its monitoring equipment as a result of the distribution agreement signed during the visit, and have since opened an office in Shanghai
  • Oxfordshire based Phynova has completed the signing of a manufacturing and licensing agreement for their leading product IminoNorm™ with a Shanghai biotech company

UK-China investment

We are the most popular European destination for Chinese investment – there has been more investment into the UK from China in the last 18 months than in the previous 30 years, with over £8 billion in 2013 to 2014 alone.

This investment is creating or safeguarding thousands of jobs in the UK: in 2012 to 2013, Chinese investment in the UK created at least 1,000 new jobs and safeguarded just under 2,500 jobs. And in the last year, around 1,000 jobs were created or safeguarded from 4 projects alone. In the other direction, the UK is China’s second largest European investor, with the total stock of UK investment in China exceeding $18 billion.

Source: Prime Minister’s Office

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