Returning from his first visit to Hong Kong and China today, Trade and Investment Minister Lord Price has reflected on positive meetings with key government and business representatives, reinforcing the commitment to maintaining and strengthening trading relationships.
Whilst attending the G20 trade ministers meeting in Shanghai, Lord Price set out the UK’s continued open and outward looking approach to trade and the government’s determination to retain comprehensive trade links with the EU and with the rest of the world.
G20 ministers agreed a joint statement following the meeting, concluding:
The global recovery continues, but it remains uneven and falls short of our ambition for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
We agree that we need to do more to achieve our common objectives for global growth, stability and prosperity.
Lord Price agreed, noting:
I believe we need a calm and collaborative approach. I’m optimistic about the future and look forward to working with my G20 colleagues on the next steps for global trade and investment.
A number of countries have already expressed interest in the idea of trade talks with the UK. We face the exciting prospect of continuing trading relations with Europe and enhancing trading relationships East and West, providing us with an opportunity to be a super-connected trading hub.
The trade ministers set out several pledges following the meeting, including committing to improving communication on excess capacity in sectors such as steel, including by participating in the OECD Steel Committee meeting in September; recognising the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to cut red tape, lower trade costs and free up world trade; and agreeing to drive forward an ambitious agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods.
Ahead of the G20 meeting, Lord Price also met with close to 100 Chinese investors. The minister reported positive outcomes of his discussions including:
- Fosun, China’s largest conglomerate, announced their commitment to increase their investments in UK infrastructure and energy
- Bailian, China’s largest retail group, is seeking to bring more British brands to China
- JD.com, one of the largest online shopping platforms in China and the world, is exploring options for investing in China-UK e-commerce
- Huawei, a leading global communications provider, confirmed they will go ahead with their planned £1.3bn UK investment
- the Wanda Group, one of China’s most successful companies, are looking for further UK land and property investments
- the China Insurance Regulatory Commission wants to invest in the UK and also help UK insurers gain access to the Chinese market
- the China National Nuclear Corporation remains fully committed to their investment in UK programmes
- the Bank of China is enthusiastic about maintaining current UK investment and securing new sources
This was published originally by UK Trade and Investment which has since moved to the Department for International Trade (DIT).