Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang today (17 June 2014) agreed that the UK and Chinese rail industries will work together to boost economic growth, jobs and skills.
The two countries signed a bilateral agreement at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), paving the way for closer co-operation on areas such as rail design, engineering, construction, supply, operation and maintenance.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
I can see great mutual benefit to be gained from increased co-operation between the UK and China on rail. The railways are a massive success story in both countries and we can boast world class expertise across the sector.
The government’s long term economic plan is working, and Britain is on the rise. But the job is not done. The success stories of the future will be economies that invest in infrastructure and welcome overseas involvement and we want this partnership to be a win-win situation creating economic growth and jobs here and abroad, including in China.
The Memorandum of Understanding – which covers all modes of rail, including high speed - states the scope of the partnership may include:
- the development of new build and upgrading rail infrastructure projects;
- the supply of products and services to third markets;
- collaboration on research and development within the rail sector;
- station design;
- equipment supply;
- rail transport safety and evaluation; and
- energy saving and environmental protection in rail.
The Transport Secretary signed the MoU on behalf of the UK Government with Xu Shaoshi, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC), signing for the Chinese.
The UK is open to international investment and welcomes suitable qualified companies from other countries, including China, to bid for projects in accordance with international and domestic procurement practices and laws.
Today’s agreement states that contracts won in the UK should utilise and build upon the UK supply chain.
The UK also expects to see greater emphasis on access to the China market for UK companies.