Tom Keighley

Member Article

Summit aims to boost China trade and investment

Senior Government ministers will meet UK and Chinese industrialists at a global business summit in London today, to foster trade ties with China.

The summit will take place in London’s Lancaster House, and Business Secretary Vince Cable, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, and Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne, will be among those speaking.

Representatives from Jaguar Land Rover, Bosideng, Net-a-Porter and SOHO China will attend to hear talks on global branding and low carbon living, as well as other key topics.

Foreign Secretary William Hague, who will open the event, said: “Commercial diplomacy – using our diplomatic influence to help boost growth and attract inward investment - is a key element for the UK’s economic recovery and future prosperity.

“It is at the heart of a huge amount of work occurring across the FCO’s worldwide network of missions. Engaging with the emerging economies is a vital part of this effort.

“We have been working to increase our already strong bilateral ties with China, expanding our range of cooperation and adding 60 new staff across the FCO’s China Network.

“China Business Day represents a clear commitment to further strengthening the UK and China’s relationship, building on our growing shared interests and working together towards mutual prosperity.”

The event has been preceded by news this week from UKTI that China has moved up to third place as a source of inward investment projects for the UK.

Earlier in the week, a consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings entered into an arrangement to acquire UK gas company, Wales and West Utilities, in a deal worth almost £2bn.

The China Entrepreneur Club, which groups the leaders of business that account for around 4% of China’s GDP, has partnered on the event.

Among the Chinese industrialists set to speak at the summit are Mr Liu Chuanzhi, Chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club; Madam Sun Yafang, Chairwoman of Huawei; and Mr Guo Guangchang, co-founded of Fosun Group.

Speaking today, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are taking every opportunity to maximise the economic benefits of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012. Around four billion people will tune in to watch the Opening Ceremony this evening, and every day of the Olympics will be another incredible chance to show the world what Britain represents today, and what we have to offer.

“We will continue to do all we can to provide a welcome environment for Chinese business and investment, and to support emerging Chinese brands as they take their businesses to the global markets, including the UK.”

Commenting on the low-carbon focus within the summit, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, said: “From solar panels to hydropower, Chinese firms are leading the world in developing the innovative clean energy technologies that will help us respond to climate change.

“Here in the UK, the Government is putting in place the measures needed to develop a more balanced, more secure energy portfolio. Whether it’s our surging renewables sector or North Sea oil and gas exploration, new nuclear power or carbon capture and storage, there has never been a better time to invest in the UK’s energy future.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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