China offers huge opportunities for UK businesses: British minister

Updated 2018-02-22 14:52:03 Xinhua

China offers huge opportunities for British businesses while the commercial partnership between the UK and China continues to go from strength to strength, Liam Fox, British International Trade Secretary said Wednesday at the China All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

The trade secretary, who has visited China twice already in 2018, gave this speech to mark one month until the start of the GREAT Festival of Innovation in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

"Even since the Prime Minister's visit, data has been published by the ONS showing that UK goods exports to China rose by 34.9 percent last year," he noted.

He said Britain's strengths in services, consumer goods, and advanced manufacturing are a good fit for the changing shape of the Chinese economy.

"Technological advances make it easier for our SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to sell online, either directly or via a platform such as Tmall or JD.com, both of which have arrangements with Royal Mail to ease the way for a small business," Fox said.

SUPPORT FOR BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

He reiterated the UK's support for the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it held significant commercial potential for the UK, "particularly in sustainable infrastructure, financial and legal services, innovation and technology, and public health."

"More broadly, if well implemented, the Belt and Road Initiative could help support development and global economic growth across Asia and beyond," he added.

He said Brexit offered the chance for a new chapter in relations. "We are preparing for a new chapter, post-Brexit, in our Golden Era of bilateral relations."

"It is a relationship based not only upon the personal ties forged by tens of thousands of Chinese people who come to live, work, and study in the UK, but also by the intrinsic strengths of the UK economy, and our attractiveness as a place to do business," he said.

Regarding the forthcoming GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong, Liam Fox said "this festival will be a major showcase for the UK's talent, creativity and design on the world stage."

"The best entrepreneurs and the most advanced technology from across the UK and Asia will explore how we will work, live, play and learn in the future, helping to advance the economic cooperation of our two countries for years to come," he added.

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