‘China not to blame for UK steel woes’

Industry of­fi­cial says is­sues due to di­min­ish­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness, in­abil­ity to adapt to changes

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO - By FU JING in Lon­don andDUJUAN in Xi’an

Fad­ing steel industry com­pet­i­tive­ness, rather than China, is re­spon­si­ble for the job losses in the United King­dom, a top steel industry of­fi­cial said onWed­nes­day.

Li Xinchuang, deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Bei­jing-based China Iron and Steel Industry As­so­ci­a­tion, said that it was un­fair that the me­dia cov­er­age in the UK had turned a blind eye on China’s job cre­ation in the coun­try.

Li was re­spond­ing to me­dia cov­er­age in the UK and the United States that the lat­est cuts, by Tata Steel of more than 1,200 jobs, re­sulted from China’s low-priced steel ex­ports.

Statis­tics from UK Steel, an industry as­so­ci­a­tion, show that the UK im­ports about 60 per­cent of its steel re­quire­ments. China ac­counts for about 8 per­cent of that to­tal.

“It is un­rea­son­able to blame China for Tata Steel’s re­dun­dancy,” Li told China Daily.

The Bri­tish me­dia re­ports failed to of­fer de­tailed price in­for­ma­tion or im­port statis­tics, and ig­nored the fact that Chi­nese in­vest­ment has al­ready helped cre­ate about 5,000 jobs in the UK dur­ing the 2014-15 financial year.

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd has al­ready cre­ated 7,000 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs in the UK since it en­tered the Bri­tish mar­ket in 2010.

The UK has be­come the top in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion for China in the Euro­pean Union and the two coun­tries are ex­pected to sign multi-bil­lion­dol­lar trade and in­vest­ment agree­ments that will cre­ate more jobs in the UK.

Due to the eco­nomic slow­down, Li said the global steel mar­ket is weak at present, which has made com­pe­ti­tion fiercer.

He said Chi­nese steel­mak­ers can pro­vide high-qual­ity prod­ucts and ser­vices at com­pet­i­tive prices.

“It is use­less to blame China for other com­peti­tors’ high costs and low ef­fi­ciency, which can­not solve their es­sen­tial prob­lems.”

Li said the Euro­pean steel com­pa­nies’ high costs are the main rea­son for low prof­its. “If they can­not raise ef­fi­ciency, they will lose mar­ket share.”

The UK must “make ad­just­ments” to keep up with the rapidly chang­ing global econ­omy, Chi­nese am­bas­sador to the UK Liu Xiaom­ing told ITV News when re­spond­ing to the steel job cuts.

“If you con­tinue to stay with your old, tra­di­tional busi­ness, you’re los­ing money and op­por­tu­ni­ties ... China is mak­ing ad­just­ments — why not the UK?” said Liu.

Con­tact the writ­ers at fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn and dujuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.