China, UK see enhanced cooperation in trading
Chinese and British leaders affirmed on Thursday that they want to use the momentum of a new “golden era” in their relations to further cooperate in a range of economic and trade fields.
As the most senior Chinese delegation to visit this year met top British officials for the eighth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, areas of cooperation under discussion included trade, investment, market access, financial services, macroeconomic policy and infrastructure. A total of 63 agreements were reached, including moving the feasibility study on LondonShanghai Stock Connect to the next stage.
This year’s dialogue, led by Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai and British Chancellor Philip Hammond, built on the two countries’ strong collaboration at the G20 Leaders Summits in Hangzhou in September. It followed a fruitful meeting between Ma and British Prime Minister TheresaMay onWednesday.
Hammond confirmed the UK will invest up to $50 million in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to support infrastructure projects in developing countries. The commitment makes the UK the second contributor to the AIIB after China, and builds on the UK’s Philip Hammond, early decision to join the AIIB.
Ma said both governments affirmed at the dialogue their commitment to strengthen a comprehensive bilateral strategic partnership. Ma said China respects the UK public’s choice to leave the European Union and looks forward to deepening its partnership with the UK’s newgovernment.
“Our trade relationships are now more important than ever. China’s services imports, where the UK has such a strong competitive advantage, has more than tripled since 2010,” said Hammondon Thursday
He said that Britain is home to more Chinese investment than any other European country, adding that this market opportunity will become more important post-Brexit.
The two sides agreed to push the UK’s regional development plan and China’s Belt and Road Initiative — and build links between the UK’s industrial strategy 2050 and Made in China 2025.
They will also enhance cooperation in trade and investment and use the opportunity of the massive Hinkley Point power station project to deepen cooperation in nuclear energy. Other areas of joint interest will be in high speed railways and space projects.
Hammond announced that the two sides also agreed to work on the next step of a feasibility study to connect the London and Shanghai stock exchanges.
The stock connect, the first of its kind outside China, is one part of a new long-term, strategic plan for UK-China financial services cooperation which was agreed upon as part of the dialogue.
The plan sets out how China and the UK will work more closely to enhance cooperation and boost market access over the coming years, focusing on eight key areas: capital markets, asset management, insurance and pensions, banking, green finance, fintech, the Belt and Road Initiative and financial inclusion.
Hammond said the two countries were also committed to establishing new platforms for cross border trading of green bonds, which will be a major step in the continued development of green finance.
Our trade relationships are now more important than ever ...” British Chancellor
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond (second from left) opens the London Stock Exchange with LSE CEO Xavier Rolet (left), joined by a banking and financial delegation from China on Thursday.