BEIJING: British Prime Minister Theresa May left China on Friday with deals worth more than £9.3 billion ($13.26 billion), at the end of a three-day trade mission where President Xi Jinping pledged to upgrade their “golden era” in relations.
Britain is trying to reinvent itself as a global trading nation after a 2016 referendum decision to leave the European Union, and China, the world’s second-largest economy, is high on the list of countries that Britain wants to sign a free trade agreement with.
Speaking at a business summit in China’s commercial capital Shanghai, May said Britain was keen to help bring Xi’s vision for globalisation and a more open Chinese economy to life.
“Meanwhile, the UK is preparing to leave the European Union. We’re seizing the opportunity to become an ever-more outward-looking Global Britain, deepening our trade relations with nations around the world —including China,” she said.
Chinese investment is helping Britain develop infrastructure and create jobs, with some 50,000 British businesses importing goods from China and more than 10,000 sell their goods to China, she added.
“We’ve agreed on moves to bring more of the UK’s internationally renowned food and drink to China, to open up the market to some of Britain’s world-class financial services providers,” May said.
The £9.3 billion in deals will create over 2,500 jobs across the United Kingdom, the British government said.
Britain’s financial services firms alone secured deals worth more than £1 billion and market access, that would lead to 890 jobs, it said, without giving details. — Reuters