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Home > Ambassador Liu > Events > 2012
Speech by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Breakfast Meeting of China Business Day
(Lancaster House, London, 27 July 2012)

Foreign Secretary William Hague,

Lord Green,

Chairman Liu Chuanzhi,

Friends from the Chinese and British business communities.

I am especially pleased to join you this morning.

I wish to congratulate the organisers and sponors, especially the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and UK Trade and Investment.

In my view,today’s event is very special. It features three S’s!

First, it is a special event because it coincides with the Summer Olympics. In less than 12 hours the long-awaited (thirtieth) XXX Olympiad will open in London.

I want to take this opportunity to wish the Olympic opening ceremony this evening a great success. But before the spectacle unfolds this evening, I also wish a productive and fruitful China Business Day!

Let me turn to my second ‘S’.

This is a smart event!

On the occasion of the Olympic Games, our British hosts have kindly invited here more than one hundred Chinese business leaders. The aim is to enable them to experience the investment environment in UK and discuss possibilities of cooperation.

This is a superb example of how a sports event like the Olympic Games can boost trade and economy. Foreign Secretary Hague’s presence and speech is a reflection of British government’s support for China-UK economic cooperation. This is also a case of British ‘smart diplomacy.’

And now to my third ‘S’.

This is a very significant event.

Economic cooperation is one of the key drivers of China-UK relations. However, we all face a serious challenge to maintain momentum in our economies. Also the mutual problem we face is the global struggle of trying to avoid recession.

These difficulties make a compelling case for our two countries to draw on each other’s strengths and engage in win-win economic cooperation.

I am very glad to note that our economic cooperation maintained a solid momentum of growth in the first half of this year. That was achieved against many odds. These are some of the indicators:

· Chinese data show a 0.7% growth in China-EU trade in goods in the first half of this year.

· Over the same period, China-UK trade in goods increased by 15.5%.

· British records suggest that in the first half of this year UK exports to EU dropped by 4%.

· But UK exports to China rose by 19% in the first half of 2012.

· The UK is now China’s third largest trading partner within EU.

· China has become Britain’s second largest trading partner outside the EU.

There are positive trends as well in the investment area:

· China-UK two-way investment has become more balanced.

· In particular Chinese investment in UK is growing at a faster pace.

· Since January last year, Chinese companies have invested in UK about 3.5 billion pounds. I want to stress this is only investment through joint share holding or merger and acquisition.

· So you can imagine that total Chinese investments of various types would be even more impressive.

So far, Britain has successfully attracted more than 450 Chinese enterprises.

Their investment reaches across a growing number of sectors. These include:

· Trade.

· Banking.

· Telecommunications.

· Civil aviation.

· Advanced manufacturing.

· Creative industries.

· And research and development centres.

Companies from our two countries are also discussing some large cooperation projects. These are in oil and gas, nuclear energy and offshore wind farms.

Following such encouraging trends, ‘China Business Day’ has brought together the elites of Chinese and British business communities. I want to specially mention that many of Chinese business leaders present here are from private companies.

I believe this event offers an optimal platform for discussions on how to fully tap the potential of our economic ties. Such exchanges indubitably serve the common interests of both countries.

I hope that both sides will value cooperation opportunities like this and cherish hard-won progress in China-UK relations.

In particular, we should build political trust and seek economic win-win.

With these efforts, I am sure China-UK economic cooperation will follow the Olympic motto:

This is faster, higher and stronger!

Thank you!

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