China-Britain trade targets $100b in 2015

Updated: 2011-06-27 10:47
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LONDON -- With a rapid growth in bilateral trade during the first six months of this year, China and Britain are aimed at an ambitious trade target of $100 billion in 2015.

That target was set by leaders of the two nations during Prime Minister David Cameron's visit in China in November.

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China and Britain are important trading partners with Britain being China's third largest market in the EU and China being Britain's largest export destination save the EU and the United States.

Two-way trade in goods and services between the two nations hit an all-time high of $60 billion last year, a rise of 28 percent from the previous year.

According to the economic and commercial counselor's office of the Chinese Embassy to Britain, bilateral trade of goods jumped 17.4 percent to $20.97 in the first five months from a year earlier.

Investment is also on the fast track with more and more Chinese setting up subsidiaries in Britain. Last year, China became Britain's sixth largest foreign investor.

In addition, over the past few years an increasing number of Chinese companies, notably Shanghai Automobile and Chongqing Changan Automobile, have set up R&D centers in Britain.

Meanwhile, British enterprises continue to expand their presence and operations in China. Tesco has committed to making an investment worth $2 billion in China during the next five years.

With a cumulative investment exceeding $17 billion by the end of 2010, Britain has managed to maintain its position as China's largest investor among EU members.

At the same time, the potential to expand China-Britain commercial and economic ties remains huge. Trade with Britain accounts for a mere 1.7 percent of China's trade with the rest of the world. British exports to China, meanwhile, constitute less than 2 percent of China's total imports.