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Mar 23
2011

UK eyes China as key partner for growth

Posted by: Europe Business Center International

Europe Business Center International

British Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green said on Monday in Beijing that China is Britain's key partner for growth.

Green arrived in Beijing Monday to begin a five-day business tour, which will include visits to Beijing, Chongqing and Hong Kong.

"China has seen spectacular unbroken growth over the last thirty years and is a market that is very important to the UK's economic development,"  Green told a news briefing at the British embassy in Beijing.

He said he was confident that the two countries would achieve the objective of $100 billion in annual trade by 2015, which was agreed upon by both leaders last November.

The British government published a Trade and Investment White Paper in February that looked at emerging economies such as China as the future of global growth, he said.

During his stay in Beijing, Green met with Chinese officials from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). He also met with senior personnel from the China Investment Corporation (CIC).

At the meetings, Green urged Chinese institutions and enterprises to invest in British infrastructure projects over the next 10 years. These include industries such as transport, broadband, power, water and waste treatment.

"There are a number of areas in which we have strong competence, such as IT, financial services, railways, hospitals and medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, low carbon technology, oil and gas, and aerospace,"  Green said, adding that Britain was willing to share expertise with China in these areas.

He added that the UK government is now looking at the opportunities China presents, especially in high value infrastructure projects.

Before assuming office as UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment in January this year, Green had been executive chairman of HSBC since 2006 and steered the bank through the financial crisis.

Green said his previous job had given him the opportunity to travel to 18 different cities in China in the last five years to see business conditions in China first hand.

"I think that may be one of the reasons our prime minister asked me to take on the job,"  he said.