SHANGHAI (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May left China on Friday with offers value greater than 9.three billion kilos, on the finish of a three-day commerce mission the place President Xi Jinping pledged to improve their “golden era” in relations.
Britain is attempting to reinvent itself as a global buying and selling nation after a 2016 referendum choice to go away the European Union, and China, the world’s second-largest economic system, is excessive on the record of nations that Britain needs to signal a free commerce settlement with.
Speaking at a business summit in China’s industrial capital Shanghai, May stated Britain was eager to assist convey Xi’s imaginative and prescient for globalisation and a extra open Chinese economic system to life.
“Meanwhile, the UK is preparing to leave the European Union. We’re seizing the opportunity to become an ever-more outward-looking Global Britain, deepening our trade relations with nations around the world – including China,” she stated.
Chinese funding helps Britain develop infrastructure and create jobs, with some 50,000 British companies importing items from China and greater than 10,000 promote their items to China, she added.
“We’ve agreed on moves to bring more of the UK’s internationally renowned food and drink to China, to open up the market to some of Britain’s world-class financial services providers,” May stated.
The 9.three billion kilos in offers will create over 2,500 jobs throughout the United Kingdom, the British government stated.
Britain’s monetary companies corporations alone secured offers value greater than 1 billion kilos and market entry, that may result in 890 jobs, it stated, with out giving particulars.
China sees Britain as an vital ally in its name for extra open global markets, regardless of widespread issues within the overseas business group in regards to the issue of working in China, and each international locations confer with a “golden era” in relations.
Meeting in Beijing late on Thursday, Xi advised May the 2 international locations ought to “add new meaning into the bilateral ties so as to forge an enhanced version of the ‘Golden Era’,” based on state-run media.
China has additionally been appreciative of Britain’s enthusiasm for the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Xi’s Belt and Road initiative to construct a brand new Silk Road.
In a entrance web page commentary on Friday, the abroad version of the People’s Daily stated Britain had proven “intelligence and pragmatism” in supporting Belt and Road.
“It is a model for other Western nations,” it stated.
But Brexit has unnerved Beijing, involved about shedding an vital voice supporting free commerce within the European Union and what it could imply for market entry to Europe for Chinese corporations which have invested in Britain.
Still, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang advised May on Wednesday that China’s relations with Britain will stay unchanged by means of Brexit.
(This story refiles so as to add dropped phrase “day” in lead.)
Writing and extra reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore