Business / Economy

Brexit creates new opportunities in Asia

By Zhou Mo and Cherry Lin (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-30 09:20

Brexit creates new opportunities in Asia

A Virgin Atlantic passenger jet flies past the Union Flag above the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in central London, Britain, June 24, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Britain's exit from the European Union has caused widespread concern over its negative impact on the global economy, but some researchers and experts said they believe it can also be seen as "a new beginning" with more investment opportunities and freer international relations.

Brexit, which has led to a lower exchange rate between the pound and yuan due to the pound depreciation, will reduce the risks for Chinese companies to do business in the United Kingdom, said Jo Hawley, director of trade and investment at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

Property buyers from China will find it cheaper to invest in UK properties. Also, Chinese tourists and students visiting and studying in Britain will have lower yuan-denominated expenses.

"The depreciation of the British pound after Brexit is already providing opportunities for investment in Britain," Hawley told a roundtable forum in Hong Kong on Friday. The forum on the Economic Impact of Brexit to China and Asia, was organized by China Daily Asia Pacific.

The British pound dipped more than 10 percent since the referendum on June 23, from 9.84 yuan per pound to 8.83 yuan on July 3.

Edward K.Y. Chen, president of the Qianhai Institute for Innovative Research, said that while there would be a long transition period following Brexit, the most important thing in the process is to "minimize short-term cost and maximize long-term benefit".

"To minimize short-term cost, the first thing for Britain to do is to stabilize its economy. That means to stabilize the exchange rate of the pound in order to restore confidence and trust for investors. The second thing for Britain is to assure the world that London will stay as the financial center in the world. Meanwhile, the third thing is to determine how Britain will manage its trade with the EU in the post-Brexit era," Chen noted.

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