China, UK see en­hanced co­op­er­a­tion in trad­ing

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By LIWENSHA and CE­CILY LIU in London Con­tact the writ­ers through ce­cily.liu@ mail.chi­nadai­

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.

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