Trade Resources Policy & Opinion Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng: Create “A Golden Age” for the China-Britain Trade and Economic Relationship

Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng: Create “A Golden Age” for the China-Britain Trade and Economic Relationship

Beijing, October 18 (Xinhuanet Journalist Wang Youling)-The Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said on October 18 that at present, the China-Britain trade and economic cooperation reveals a positive trend that the bilateral trade maintains a stable growth, the bilateral investment continues to be deepened and the cooperation in the new fields is constantly expanded. He hoped that the two countries can join hands in today’s global economic pattern with profound changes and jointly create “a golden age” for the China-Britain trade and economic relationship.

Gao said that both China and Britain have high expectations for President Xi’s visit to Britain. This marks the first state visit of the Chinese President to Britain and a milestone in the development of China-Britain relationship. President Xi’s visit will certainly direct the China-Britain relationship for further development, strongly promote the practical cooperation of the two countries in all fields and push forward the bilateral trade and economic relationship to a new level.

Gao said that Britain is the first industrialized developed country and China is the largest developing country. The economies of the two countries are highly complementary to each other, they share the common idea of cooperation, and the cooperative potential is great.

He said that at present China is formulating the development plan of the economic society in the Thirteenth Five-year period and efforts have been made to implement a new round of high-level opening up and to accelerate building the new open economic system. Britain always pursues the free trade policy and enjoys high openness of the market, which greatly promotes the constant economic growth. China proposes the “Belt and Road” initiative and Britain as an original member applies to participate in the “Northern Revitalization Program” of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and England. These will provide more cooperative opportunities for the enterprises of the two countries.

At present, Britain has become China’s second largest trade partner and the second largest actual investor and investment destination in the EU. China is Britain’s fourth largest trade partner. The trade volume of the two countries goes up year by year. In 2014, the China-Britain bilateral trade volume reached US$80.87 billion, with an increase of 15.3%, doubling the number US$39.16 billion five years ago. The amplification ranked the first among the major trade partners including China and the EU.

In the previous nine months, when the trade volume between China and the major European partners went down obviously on year-on-year basis, the China-Britain trade volume basically remained stable. This fully showed the stability and the sustainability of the China-Britain trade. The stock of British’s foreign direct investment in China increases steadily. By the end of August 2015, Britain has invested 7,992 projects in China with an actual investment of US19.61 billion. The stock of Chinese foreign direct investment in Britain has rapidly increased from US$1.35 billion by the end of 2010 to US$12.8 billion by the end of 2014 with more than 500 China-invested enterprises settled in Britain. At the same time, the two countries have conducted fruitful cooperation in the fields such as technological innovation, service trade, local cooperation and exploiting the third-party market.

Gao said that in order to seize this historic opportunity, further promote the development of the bilateral trade and economic relationship, enable the enterprises of the two countries to complement each other’s advantages and realize the mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, both sides can strengthen the cooperation in the following fields:

Firstly, fully tap the trading potential of the two countries. Efforts should be made to promote the export of the high value-added Chinese products to Britain, to take the advantage of Britain in the fields such as high-end manufacturing, in high and new technology, and in research and development. The aim is to find new growth points of the bilateral trade in goods. At the same time, efforts should also be made to further promote the cooperation in the service trade fields such as scientific innovation, e-commerce, financial laws service, medical treatment and public health ,and creative industry, so that trade in goods and service trade can fly wing to wing.

Secondly, deepen the investment and cooperation in major projects. The “Belt and Road” initiative and the construction of the AIIB will further promote the cooperation of the enterprises of the two countries in the infrastructure field. Both sides can use the cooperation in the high-speed rail and nuclear power project as an entry point to increase the cooperation in the emerging industries such as life sciences, satellite application, new energy, new energy automobile and information technology, to strive to build a batch of iconic and demonstrative projects, and to push forward the profound development of the bilateral investment and cooperation.

Thirdly, strengthen the local cooperation and the third-party market cooperation of the two countries. The governments of the two countries should build the long-term mechanism of the local cooperation and should discuss the cooperation between the enterprises of China and Britain and their participation in the “Northern Revitalization Program”. At the same time, efforts should be made to make full use of China’s advantages in its equipment manufacturing and funds and Britain’s advantages in technological innovation, managerial experience and financial service. The aim is to promote the enterprises of the two countries, to join hands to expand the cooperation in the third-party market, and to create new space for the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Fourthly, cultivate a favorable trade and investment environment. It is hoped that Britain can continue to play a positive role within the EU to promote the export of high-tech products to China. We also hope the China-EU investment agreement can be achieved at an early date and the united feasible research on the China-EU FTA can be launched as soon as possible, and the sustainable development of the trade and investment cooperation between the two countries can be realized.

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